Monday, 30 April 2012

Self-Assertion of an English Garden (After-Life Topoi of Nazi Desire) Chapter 6.2.

1.     Il faut cultiver notre jardin   
2.     Pêcheurs de lune
3.     Iterability of the Nazi State (Economy of Genocide)
4.     Growth (and Form/Morphe)
5.     Decay
6.     Pompes Funèbres
6.1.  Type (Model, Example, Tupos)
6.2.  Usus Tyrannus (Interlude)
6.3.  The Ageing of a Note
7.      Critique of Beginnings
8.      Demonology of Defeat 

6.      Pompes Funèbres

6.2.    Usus Tyrannus (Interlude)

The affinity between tyranny and work is ancient.  Fascism and Nazism did not invent it.  The inscription on the portal to Auschwitz “Arbeit macht frei” is the pure expression of this continuity.  The ‘modernism’ of Nazism, how it improves upon the ancient programs of public works, comes from later capitalism.  Work is not only production, it is equally destruction – in Nazi parlance, extermination is “Vernichtung durch Arbeit” (extermination through work).  The worker works, carrying out the work of extermination and exterminating himself at the same time.  The work of extermination is peculiarly reflexive – as the raw material and the worker are identical.  The concept of work itself can never be exterminated.  The whole idea of the Camp is centred on labour.  Hitler, Himmler et al. conceived and designed Auschwitz as the site of slave labour camps supplying the needs of I.G.-Farben for the production of synthetic rubber and other chemical products.  Birkenau, its sibling camp, was the facility for extermination sans phrase, housing crematoria and gas chambers.

The obsession with work arose at the very inception of Nazism.  Till this day Hitler is often excused by citing those “good works” he instigated – building the Autobahn, putting the horde of unemployed to work.  Similarly, high unemployment is traditionally seen as a major ‘cause’ of Nazism.  Haider’s praise of Hitler’s employment policies showed his instinctive awareness that Nazi tyranny thrives on work and not myth.   Although Nazi work itself can create its own mythology – as in Ernst Jünger’s Der Arbeiter (adopted by Heidegger) or the writings of Niekisch and other ‘National Bolshevists’.  A peculiarity of the Nazi mythology of work – the proletariat is not a class but the whole nation-race.  

Hitler came from the unemployed underclass of Vienna, the asylums for homeless and jobless, obviously a good place to conceive mass employment programs for others.  His personal inclinations were untainted by any “work ethic”.  The sybaritic lusts and habits of Hitler and his inner circle could not have contrasted more starkly with the official ideology of what Heidegger emulating Jünger calls the “Work State”.  Neither work nor the state interested Hitler - he saw both only as the means of fashioning his “war machine” for the conquest of world power (measured above all in territory) – always a threat or risk, as Deleuze/Guattari analyze (A Thousand Plateaus) – for state or juridical sovereignty (the apparatus).  All discourse of the “state of exception” (Schmitt, Agamben, Derrida) conflates these two antinomian elements of power; the state is not the end and fulfilment of power nor is sovereignty the unsurpassable zenith of domination.  Sebastian Haffner counts Hitler’s neglect of the state as one of his ‘mistakes’ – he was not a statesman, he destroyed “German state-ness” – created “states in states” – an accusation also voiced by Speer.
Hitler interessierte sich nicht für den Staat, verstand nichts vom Staat and hielt nichts vom Staat.  Nur auf Völker und Rassen kam es ihm an, nicht auf die Staaten.  Der Staat war ihm “nur ein Mittel zum Zweck” und zwar, kurz gesagt, zum Zweck des Kriegführens.  An Kriegsvorbereitung hat es Hitler in den Jahren 1933-1939 nicht fehlen lassen, aber was er schuf, war eine Kriegsmaschine, kein Staat.  Und das sollte sich rächen.” [“Hitler was not interested in the state, understood nothing about the state and did not consider the state to be worth much.  Only people and races counted for him, not states.  The state was “only a means to the end” and that was, in short, the end of waging war.  Hitler did not neglect war preparations in those years 1933-1939, but what he created was a war machine not a state.  And that would take its revenge.” (Sebastian Haffner, Anmerkungen zu Hitler, Frankfurt, 1990, p. 86)]
But without this ‘mistake’ – there would have been neither a Hitler nor the so-called third Reich.  Considering the Nazi position towards Hegel’s concept of state, Marcuse regards their rejection of both the Rechststaat (state of law) and Hegel as a given or almost a truism.  As opposed to the Italian fascists’ espousal of Hegel, the Nazi ideologists deemed Hegel the “counter-will” (Franz Böhm) to their own enterprise, especially his idea of a state based on universal juridical principles and freedom of the conscious individual, not Volkheit.  Carl Schmitt said that the day Hitler ascended to power is the “day Hegel died” – although Schmitt’s own ‘Hegelianism’ and etatism soldiered on regardless.  Heidegger though in an indirect retort contests this claim of his ‘rival’ Schmitt, when he begins the 8th session of the lecture course on “Hegel, On the State” (1934-1935) with the remark – that contrary to what ‘has been said’, Hegel did not die on that day in January 1933, rather he came to life.  All these seeming discrepancies in the Nazi hierarchy’s philosophical position towards Hegel and/or the State – is merely the academic reflection in abstracto of the ambiguity and the peculiar hybridism of the Nazi regime itself.  As Marcuse, writing in 1940, remarks – the new regime in Germany had rather to dismantle a previous massive state bureaucracy (in other words Prussia) to further its aims than to ‘build’ an even stronger one – in Italy fascism was more the ‘means’ to invent such a unified state apparatus.  Paradoxically, Nazism almost shares ‘neo-liberalism’s’ ideal of ‘less state’ or even no state (so-called deregulation) – approximating what Negri and Hardt call ‘Empire’, - although significantly the present day stateless ‘Empire’ of Negri and Hardt remains addicted to the Schmittian idea of sovereign exception for it “to be called into Being”. (See Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Empire, Cambridge/London, 2000, pp. 15 ff.)  Similarly, Agamben’s idolization of sovereign power in the sense of the ‘biopolitical’ State is in the tradition of Italian fascism and not Nazism.  The Nazi regime did not rule in the name of Volkheit or only to the extent that it eliminated barriers of the existing political forms hindering the total and direct economic exploitation of all possible human and material resources. 
“In contrast to Italy, the German state had been a powerful and firmly established reality, which even the Weimar Republic had not shaken in its foundations.  It was a Rechtsstaat, a comprehensive rational political system with distinctly demarcated and recognized spheres of rights and liberties that could not be utilized by the new authoritarian regime.  Moreover, the latter could discard the state form because the economic powers who stood behind the National Socialist movement were long since strong enough to govern directly, without the unnecessary mediation of political forms that would have to grant at least a minimum of legal equality and security.” (Herbert Marcuse, Reason and Revolution, London and Henley, 1977, p. 412)  Denuded of the state, Volkheit though enters into a direct bondage (called “lebendige Verbundenheit”: living bond by both Heidegger and Schmitt) far more extreme than to a state of law – in a retrograde imitation of the feudal order of protego ergo obligo (cited by Schmitt in The Concept of the Political as the cogito ergo sum of the state) and of an erotic Minnedienst  – Volkheit kneels before its master and Beloved, the Führer.  Although the Führer is also the Lover, the erâstes, as he is mostly the active male part in the relationship whose word (das Führerwort) Volkheit must instantly obey.  In the vocabulary of ancient Greek pederasty – the Volk is the morbid form of the passive youth khorous or eromenos – one who remains the passive object beyond the time of youth – called kinaidos or the “penetrated one”.

The third Reich was the precise location of the destruction/cannibalisation of the juridical state by the war machine – or interiority by pure exteriority, polis by nomos.  The exterminatory war machine was the non-identical of the conservationist State (the residual sovereignty) – but could never be reconciled with it or subsumed under its aegis.  (Hence calling the Nazi entity totalitarian or a total state is a misnomer.)  In the end the war machine will destroy the state  – the war machine meant to augment power indefinitely will also exterminate its ‘host’ – the State – by drawing down upon itself the exterminatory power of other outer war machines.  The Nazi war-machine is not what Poulantzas calls an “exceptional state” – it is not a state at all.  An indirect proof – the state alias the war machine adopted the nomadic form of the camp – the encampment – from the very beginning in 1933.  First for the indoctrination of human Nazi material in “Work Camps” – Heidegger was particularly engaged in recruiting and indoctrinating students for these labour camps, youth who were to be hardened and made over in the model of Nazi “self-assertion” – work at this time replaces Care (Sorge) in his philosophy as the primary modality of being.  Later the “Lagerwelt” (camp world) was the platform upon which the SS (the inner core of the war machine) sought to erect its eastern empire.  Thus given the Fata Morgana of the Nazi ‘state’ - Heidegger’s panegyric for its Nazi incipience, the new ‘polis’ – the one to be conducted by the new ‘type’ of the worker-student, member of the ‘hard race’, reveal the folie de grandeur of a self-deluding provincial academic, who thinks his chance for ‘real’ power, ‘world power’ has miraculously arrived with Being’s gift of Adolf Hitler.

[Commentary:  Deleuze and Guattari make no mention of Carl Schmitt in A Thousand Plateaus – but use nomos in a way opposite to his nomos of sovereignty or law.  Nomos is the code of the war machine and all such organizations not reducible to any state.  Such an organization can be less or more than a state.  The Internet is also a war machine – according to this analysis.  “What becomes clear is that bands, no less than worldwide organization imply a form irreducible to the State and that this form of exteriority necessarily presents itself as a diffuse and polymorphous war machine.  It is a nomos very different from the “law”.  The State-form as a form of interiority, has a tendency to reproduce itself, remaining identical to itself across its variations and easily recognizable within the limits of its poles, always seeking public recognition (there is no masked State).” (Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, London/New York, 2011, p. 360)

A state doesn’t last like an inanimate object or fabricated thing with finite tangible borders or boundaries.  It repeats itself in time; its principles are rules of repetition, extending its substance (assets) into a temporal quasi-body.  Its ‘longevity’ is its ‘iterability’ – a power body that can be repeated indefinitely - at least hypothetically.  The state (or at least the theories of sovereignty) presuppose the same principle expressed by Spinoza in his Ethics as the essence of every being or thing – suum esse conservare – the self, in this case the self of sovereignty – cannot do anything but preserve itself.  Self-preservation and self (sovereignty) are identical – whether of the singular or the transindividual “grand homme” of the state.

Thus, theories of sovereignty or of the classical state and its legal juridical apparatus cannot grasp the peculiarity of the Nazi entity – because it was not a state – rather a construction or Gestalt designed consciously or unconsciously to last the life of one man (the Führer) – non-repeatable or imitable.  Ironically, Heidegger’s determination of Dasein’s essence to be its own annihilation – Sein zum Tode – in which he appears to contradict Spinoza’s dictum of self-preservation – realized itself most completely in that entity embodying the collective Dasein of the German Volk for which he aspired to indefinite duration – the ‘Nazi state’.  But the ‘Nazi-state’ did not die in Heidegger’s sense of death as Würde (dignity) – as if it were an honour conferred by the state.  It ended like an animal in the decay of ‘suppressed bestiality’ – the symbiosis of Führer and Volk.
A sign of the voluntarist biological nature of the Nazi construction is its striking temporal symmetry – an effect of the ticking of Hitler’s biological clock.  The period during which it existed is almost neatly divided into two halves: 6 years ‘peace’ or preparation for war from 1933-1939 and 6 years war – whereby the end is decided not inside but outside of the entity.  Or if from the inside – only in the sense that the substance of the war machine was only worth 6 years of active war.  Italian fascism has nothing of this symmetry or inner partition – confirming that its authentic or classical ‘state’ parts – those, which were recognizable and repeatable, were greater than in the Nazi entity.]

Foucault seems to have touched on this dilemma or predicament of the state and the anti-state – although he still tries to resolve it within one state structure of power, leading him to rather strained compromises.  He questions a juridical state based on law as the exclusive site of power – but not the frame of the state as such.  Otherwise why would he persist in the question of the fabrication of subjects, euphemistically called subjectivity?  Primarily because Foucault like his followers (Agamben, Esposito, Negri and Hardt) or imitators (Derrida) cannot imagine an exterior to the state or in other words sovereignty – the state in its interiority (whether defined by law or solely by coercive force) constitutes the cosmos of power in its entirety. Subject is a term denoting the form or mode of the subjugation of a singular within and by some sort of sovereign body.  Or as Deleuze/Guattari emphasize:
“The State is what makes the distinction between governors and governed possible.” (ibid., p. 359)

Although Hardt and Negri so emphatically pay their respects to Deleuze/Guattari of Mille Plateaux, they assert with finality that their
Empire, the ‘new’ form of sovereignty, is pure immanence in other words interiority.  There is no escape from this all-inclusive infinite empire unbounded in time and space – far less than from some old-fashioned sovereign state or even a particular empire.  Almost triumphantly the authors assert that although the nation-state is dead – sovereignty is more alive than ever.  The state can disappear (‘wither away’ as Marx once said) – but the holy ghost of sovereignty is forever and everywhere and nameless. 
This so-called new paradigm of global sovereignty – although now swallowing the entire planet – falters in the same way as the old sovereignty – it is unable to conceive of any force outside of itself.  But it is precisely outside of sovereignty that resistance takes place – if at all.

For state-power (or Empire) like being there is never an outside of itself – how could there be when all there is presupposes their givenness, their ‘standing out’.  Hence also the concepts of immunity or autoimmunity refer only (and are limited) to this interiority of the state – analogous to a unified consciousness in Kant and Hume – upon which any accidents or aspects of consciousness (contiguity, causality, succession) utterly depend.  How could one think self-destruction or self-sacrifice if there were no enclosed limited self/state?

Sovereignty is limited to the State or Empire-State – the State is the limit of sovereignty and sovereignty’s “state of exception”.  

But Hardt and Negri at least are caught in a double bind, – somewhere within this insurmountable all-consuming totality of Empire – they posit with equal fervour its nemesis – so-called Multitude.  So despite referring in the obligatory manner to Schmitt’s ‘teaching’ - ‘sovereign is he who decides on the exception’, their euphoric notion of multitude, generation, desire compels the authors to undermine precisely this key concept – “the state of permanent exception” (Hardt and Negri, ibid., p. 17).  “In biopolitical society, for example, fear cannot be employed as Thomas Hobbes proposed, as the exclusive motor of the contractual constitution of politics, thus negating the love of the multitude.  Or rather in the biopolitical society the decision of the sovereign can never negate the desire of the multitude.” (ibid. p. 388)  If that were only true!  Or, as they say, ‘your word in God’s ear’.  This obviously means though that there is a limit to the decision of the sovereign upon the exception – if the multitude’s desires are against the exception, or what amounts to the same thing, against the sovereign and his right/ability to decide upon the exception (like in Egypt of the military junta) – then the status of sovereign (in whatever form) is not absolute.

[Tahrir Square is the earthly site where the ‘desire of the multitude’ confronts the sovereign decision on the exception most concretely and abstractly at this point in the eternal war between ‘Empire’ and ‘Counter-Empire’.  The Egyptian revolutionaries recognize that the ‘permanent state of emergency’ is the sovereign decision on the exception itself.  Hence the most acute revolutionary contradiction occurs now in the ‘2nd phase’ of the Egyptian Revolution of Tahrir Square – where the ‘multitude’ of anti-sovereignty revolutionaries opposes the divine right of sovereign exception anywhere and as such.  This is the logic behind their call for the end of the military rule of ‘SCAF’ (Supreme Command of the Armed Forces) under the so-called state of emergency.  Could one say that if Mubarak was the ‘worst’ – now the military junta is beyond the ‘worst’ – transcending the ‘worst’ means exiting one scale of ‘worst’ and entering a new higher more finely calibrated one – like an ascent in Piranesi’s Carceri?]

The symbiotic connection between sovereign decision and state of emergency is as tautological and circular as any Heideggerian argument about Being and Essence.  The unconscious theoretical ‘desire’ animating Hardt and Negri’s ‘Empire’ is to implement a concept of sovereignty, which having departed its vulnerable state form, its measly larva, becomes finally invincible as a predicate of the perpetual quasi divine ‘Earthly City’.  Their depiction of the new ‘militant’ of this biopolitical order recreates the inverted logic of messianic apostasy – the revolutionary or insurrectionist is the true and positive constituent of the new claustrophobic structure of “Empire” – a (de)formation by definition without an outside or a transcendence and thus impossible to overthrow.  Resistance is subsumed in the act of “constitutive investment in the biopolitical realm” (Hardt and Negri, Empire, ibid. p. 413).  (So for instance the employees of the British department store chain John Lewis who own shares of the company as part of their salary – would be, in the view of Hardt and Negri, both investing in and resisting the biopolitical realm.  If this would qualify as the creative action of the multitude – then the “John Lewis economy” lauded by the British deputy Prime Minister Clegg, as “responsible popular capitalism” is already a form of ‘counter-empire’. Is the “John Lewis economy” already the revolution?  The share-owning employees also share the risk – like in the case of the collapse of Northern Rock where shares became worthless – but will they ever own enough shares to become the ‘boss’?)  With a Sabbatean proselytism the authors conclude their tractate on Empire, the ‘revolution’ affirming the existing order (‘resistance as investment’):  “Here is the strong novelty of militancy today: it repeats the virtues of insurrectional action of two hundred years of subversive experience, but at the same time it is linked to a new world, a world that knows no outside.  It knows only an inside, a vital and ineluctable participation in the set of social structures, with no possibility of transcending them.” (ibid.)  Dialectic of standstill?  Or are Empire and Counter-Empire (Multitude) figments of a new biopolitical identity philosophy?  Hardt and Negri’s concept of militancy closely resembles the positive constituent acts (work-knowledge-armed service to the Volk) of the biopolitical/racial Nazi entity promulgated by Heidegger as the “self-assertion of the Germany University”.  Similarly, their emphasis on the “lightness and joy” of this indenture to “mass intellectuality” and “cooperative apparatuses of production and community” has the imperious ring of the Nazi slogan of compulsory “Kraft durch Freude” (power through joy) in building the Nazi future/destiny. 
An old-fashioned straightforward membership in the Communist Party would be pure autonomous luxury in comparison with the militant life of poverty in service of the multitude Hardt and Negri propose in imitation of St Francis of Assisi.  One is justified in suspecting as does Benjamin Noys, that in this prospect of a new militancy “(…) a theological discourse (is) at work in which the misery of life is transformed into the glory of Life, in a ‘postmodern passion’ (Negri) that repeats a Christological dialectic.” (Benjamin Noys, “Live Life to the Full”, at No Useless Leniency, 24th March 2012, online)
Not to forget – that St Francis’ carefree and barefoot life amongst the beggars metamorphosed into the Franciscan Order - one of the pillars of the Catholic Church, another model of Empire.  The vision of subservience broadcast by St Francis was one of perfect obedience to one’s superior (perfecta et summa obedientia) – so perfect in its absence/negation of will as to be likened to that of a corpse (corpus mortuum, corpus exanime).

It is a well-known venerable monastic attitude – to find joy in self-annihilation – how though does this translate into the “irrepressible and lightness of joy of being communist” (Hardt and Negri, ibid.)?  One longs for the innocent days of “Euro-communism” (when East was East and West was West).

[Sameness:  The quasi-ecclesiastical obedience of the corpse belongs to the rituals of sadomasochistic ‘slavery’ as much as the leather bars, leather corsets and latex hoods.  Similar to the monk’s perfect obedience to his superior (ultimately to the Pope) – the young men training in the ‘discipline’ of becoming a total object (slave) for a rich master must relinquish control of their bodies.  They forfeit own desire, become ‘as if’ a dead body (corpus mortuum) in the pursuit of transcendent sexual pain-pleasure.  Their lust breeds a spectacle of leisure, which has all the hardship of forced labour.  Not surprisingly, the comparison of sadomasochistic scenes of ‘martyrdom’ and the baroque iconography of Christian sainthood is almost a cliché of homosexual writing (all of Genet, for instance, Notre Dame des Fleurs, Miracle de la Rose, Pompes Funèbres, etc).
As Adrian Rifkin notes: “(…) (Mattia) Preti made better sense of John Preston and the body of the slave, his Saint Sebastian (Capodimente) and Peter in the Desert (Toronto) with their uplifted chins prefiguring the sexual time of waiting for an event in the phantasm of sexual object hood; the slave to an indifferent and disinterested passion (such as that for martyrdom), for a pure idea of sexuality that can properly be seen to extend Sade into an exploration of the relation between individual lust and polymorphous form of desire in contemporary gay mores. (…) And so baroque religion emerges ever more clearly as a possible pathos formel of queer studies (…)” (See Adrian Rifkin, “Slavery”, at  “Gay mores” are also a model for Agamben’s ‘sexual bare life’ – as he deduces the “growing importance of sadomasochism in modernity” from its “technique”.  Referring to its lineage from de Sade, especially his 120 Days of Sodom, Agamben writes: “Sadomasochism is precisely the technique of sexuality by which the bare life of a sexual partner is brought to light.  Not only does Sade consciously invoke the analogy with sovereign power (…) but we also find there the symmetry between homo sacer and sovereign, in the complicity that ties the masochist to the sadist, the victim to the executioner.” (Homo Sacer, ibid., pp. 134-135)  Sade is our contemporary, says Agamben, because of his theatrical presentation of sexuality and physiological life as being immediately “biopolitical”.  Was he perhaps thinking less of Sade and more of the Sadiconazista?

The singular monk is also a will-less homo sacer (corpus mortuum) in relation to the sovereign power of the Church or Pope.  Total subservience presented in the monastic order is itself a form of political theatre (theatrum politicum).  But also the sheer vision of the creator God – as a consuming and fertilising essence – a vegetative supremacy, is enough to give rise to monastic onanism and pederasty.

Ignoring for the moment, that Freud sees masochism within the ‘economy of masochism’ as itself a primary drive and not just derived from sadism, before de Sade and the eponymous sadomasochism though was Platonic ‘ontotheology’ ‘worshipped’ by acts of pederasty and homosexuality.  Paul reinterprets Platonic ontotheology, constructing the Christian sacred Trinity around the “homosexual Jesus”.  Pure Identity in the Trinity is God loving Himself and giving Himself a Son – divine hermaphroditism. “Homosexualität ist Liebe zu Gott, zu Jesus – dem fleischgewordenen Logos -, das heisst mönchisches Leben; reine Lust ist Askese.  Durch diese aufs abstrakte Jenseits gerichtete und umfunktionierte Sexualität schlägt in Europa alles Erotische ins Neurotische um (verklemmte Homosexualität).”(“Homosexuality is love of God, of Jesus – the Logos turned flesh - , that means monastic life; pure lust is asceticism.  Through this sexuality, projected and reconstructed/redirected towards an abstract hereafter, everything erotic in Europe turns into the neurotic (repressed homosexuality).”
(“Ontologie und Eros” in Hans-Jürgen Krahl, Konstitution und Klassenkampf, Frankfurt, 1971, p.117)
Pure Identity, the identity of thinking with itself in the Idea, the only true and eternal existence (Sein) is grounded in the homosexual love of the same. The “nervous defect” noted by Proust would be according to Krahl’s genealogy of European homosexuality – a reflex of the Paulinian transformation of the Platonic embedding/sublating of pederasty in the Idea (and the Idea in pederasty?).

Sameness is not a point of origin – rather the reflex or compulsive ingestive act of this totality is to eliminate all differences – and to result in a passive show of sameness.  Sameness is a relation of identity, which ‘comes true’ in the Hegelian sense of a “speculative proposition”.  It is not but will be.
This precisely is how Badiou derives “humanity” from the “anti-humanism of the same”: “Philosophically named, an emancipatory politics, comes within an anti-humanism of the same.  And it is from this anti-humanism, through which the same is supported only by the void of all differences in which to ground Man, that humanity issues.  Humanity, prior to the real forms of egalitarian politics, simply does not exist, either as a collective, or as a truth, or as thought.
It is of this absolute same, that is prior to every idea of humanity, and out of which humanity issues: politics deals with the coming to light of the collective as truth of the same. (…) as the Parmenides translated by Beaufret said, ‘the Same, is at once to think and to be’.” (Alain Badiou, “Philosophy and Politics” in Conditions, ibid., pp. 175-176)  (For Agamben – this “truth of the same” is also the ‘sexual bare life’ “brought to light” by the homosexual sadomasochist technique, itself immediately biopolitical.)

Sameness is teleology of being not its Ur-form.  Or rather it is the idea of sameness mirrored imperfectly in the empirical world.  Same though does not necessarily mean equal or egalitarian.  Amongst the same or the ontology of the same there can still be a difference of hierarchy (as in the succession of ordinal numbers) – in Plato’s homosexual ontology the hierarchy of youth and man was parallel to their sexual ranks: the lower one occupies the feminine position of being sodomized and the higher one, the masculine part, does the sodomizing. Equivalent to pupil and master – although the sameness will increase with time as the pupil acquires some of the mastery of the master. Similarly Heidegger speaks of the One, the few and the many – the hierarchy of the Führer state. 

Still though for Christian asceticism (self-flagellation etc) to revert to homosexual lust and physical (not sublimated) sadomasochistic technique (the fusion of the Greek and the Christian), an absolute decrease in desire must have occurred. The Tough Guy, the archetypical film idol, as Adorno describes him in Minima Moralia, radiates concentrated distaste, nothing can arouse him, moulded into in his leather club chair, his jaded palate turns him unavoidably into an ascetic – instead of flagellations he must punish himself with whiskey and cigar smoke, the only satisfaction is his pride in having drilled his organism to be inured to such stimuli, this fakir regime of self-abnegation is the only pleasure allowed.  He is a sexual ‘hunger artist’, never having found the right food to arouse his appetite.  The Tough Guy is actually a masochist – and his distaste especially for women is his repressed homosexuality, the only acceptable form of the heterosexual. The Tough Guys are only one half of the species – the others are the intellectuals, the effeminate males – Adorno cites Oxford student life as a source for this classification.  The Tough Guy is returned to his origins – in the school of philosophy.  What Krahl calls ontology – Adorno refers to as totality.  Totality is another name for Pure Identity (the Same), the Platonic Idea – as a synonym for the ambient of homosexuality.  The two types – the strong man and the obedient youth (master and slave) – are the extreme poles of the ruling class “on the way into dictatorship”.  A recent example of this couple is the late Austrian Jörg Haider and his circle of political-homosexual ephebes or élèves – it is after a meeting with one of them in the bar, that he crashed at high speed on an empty motorway on his way home.
Am Ende sind die tough guys die eigentlich Effeminierten, die der Weichlinge als ihrer Opfer bedürfen, um nicht zuzugestehen, daß sie ihnen gleichen.  Totalität und Homosexualität gehören zusammen.  Während das Subjekt zugrunde geht, negiert es alles, was nicht seiner eigenen Art ist.” (“In the end the tough guys are the real effeminates, who require the weaklings as their victims, so as not to admit that they are like them.  Totality and homosexuality belong together.  While the subject falls apart, it negates everything which is not of its own kind.”, Theodor W. Adorno, “Tough Baby” in Minima Moralia, Frankfurt, 1980, p.52)

The genealogies of dictatorship and ontology both manifest the unfolding of the Idea of Sameness, physically/physiologically rooted in a transcendent homosexuality. This sameness is constructed out of the negation of the subject.  The relic/vestige of the homosexual subject paradoxically subsists in the condition of “total passivity”, the universal Feminine.  Power in the absence of lust is an act of contraction not expansion as in a Nietzschean sense of Wille zur Macht.  The will to power “on the way into dictatorship” is not the magnification of desire, it is an absolute decrease.  The subject who has lost his appetite finds his unhappy quasi-happiness in the unity of sameness of the dictatorship:  The “count-as-one” multiplicity is the collective monad, which as a whole has nothing to lose.  Everything has been lost in advance individually, so that the collective act of losing and its quantity of destruction appears as negative profit.  In this sense Adorno notes about the German horrors of the thirties and forties: “Nach den Berichten der Zeugen ward lustlos gefoltert, lustlos gemordet und darum vielleicht gerade so über alles Maß hinaus.” (“According to the reports of witnesses, they tortured without lust, they murdered without lust and perhaps therefore beyond all measure.”, Theodor W. Adorno, “Unmaß für Unmaß” in Minima Moralia, ibid. p.131)

The acts of cruelty “without measure” is the only as-if quality, (when quantity reverts to quality), remaining in a universe of unequal sameness where everything is absolutely measurable, a pure world of power (truth) and quantity.
Is this dialectic of Sameness and its “theatre of cruelty” at the heart of Badiou’s category of the generic and of the truth procedures of the “subtractive” ontology?  And are not two of his essential conditions of philosophy – politics and love – mired in the inextricable complicity of “homosexuality and totality”, the order which “most purely asserts the male principle of domination” (Adorno, “Tough Baby”, ibid.)?] 

But what ever happened to ‘The Enemy’ in that folie à deux of absolute Empire and Sovereign Power?  The Enemy is the Absolute Other.   The Enemy is most indispensable for Carl Schmitt, contemporary theory’s archangel of ‘the political’.  Without the Enemy ‘the political’ ceases to exist.  This is a dilemma for the homosexual ‘biopolitical’ dictatorship/totality (of the same) and its theory. 
To use a trite example – the Enemy is under the radar in biopolitics and in Badiou’s philosophy of the Same.  Humanity may not exist but the Enemy does. 

How could there be immunity from the enemy?  Such is the non-logic of Foucault’s claim – the Nazi state is a suicidal state, because Hitler issued orders in April 1945 to destroy the living conditions of the Germans.  (Foucault could have equally called Vichy France a suicidal state because the Vichy Admiralty ordered the scuttling of the French fleet at Toulon.)
Foucault obviously regards all these last minute moves as solely interior to the Führerstaat – not in the context of the death sentence already imposed upon it from the outside of this state.
For proof of this claim he invokes like Esposito who most likely has it from him – reference to a certain telegram-order mentioned in Speer’s Memoirs – the interior speaking to the interior.

Such ‘proof’ of the ‘autoimmunity of the Nazi state’ (Esposito) brings to mind an anecdote told by Montaigne about Julius Caesar who, when asked by a decrepit old Roman soldier for permission to take his own life, replied: “So you think you are still alive?”.  Besides Hitler’s orders were actively ignored or thwarted by other power factions or ‘states’ inside the collapsing Third Reich around Speer and the industry and parts of the army very concerned with their fate in a post-defeat (post-Hitler) Germany.  Even Himmler was convinced he would have a role in the post-Hitler Europe – he told Speer during an audience in his hospital room 40 kilometres outside of Berlin at the end of April 1945: ““Ohne mich kommt Europa auch in Zukunft nicht aus. (…) Es braucht mich weiter als Polizeiminister, um Ruhe zu halten.  Eine Stunde mit Eisenhower und er wird der gleichen Überzeugung sein!  Sie werden bald erkennen, daß sie auf mich angewiesen sind – oder sie bekommen ein heilloses Durcheinander.”” [
“Europe won’t be able to manage without me in the future either. (…) It needs me further as police minister, to keep things quiet.  An hour with Eisenhower and he will be convinced of the same.  They will soon recognize, that they have to rely on me – or they will have a hopeless mess.”(Albert Speer, Erinnerungen, ibid., p. 489)]   Himmler was already negotiating with the Swedish Count Bernadotte about the surrender of the concentration camps to the International Red Cross.  Speer seems to betray a trace of regret and bitterness at the sheer scale of the fall of his Nazi idols, beliefs and loyalties in the midst of total collapse when he comments about Himmler’s ‘turn’: “Früher hatten sie immer davon gesprochen, vor einem Ende alle politischen Häftlinge zu liquidieren.  Jetzt suchte Himmler auf eigene Faust sein Arrangement mit dem Sieger.” (“In the early days they had always said, before an end, all the political prisoners would be liquidated.  Now Himmler was trying on his own behalf to make arrangements with the victor.”, ibid., p. 489)  
One wonders how real Speer’s own nighttime  “decision” was, in February 1945, to “get rid of Hitler”. (see ibid., p. 437)   

The army (Wehrmacht) as a relic of the old Prussian state system had always had a certain ambivalence towards Hitler and his ‘SS-State’ – at least its members presented themselves as such later. The generals Brauchitsch and Halder allegedly ‘considered’ overthrowing Hitler as early as 1939 – they were against the date fixed by Hitler for the invasion of France, because they thought the invasion was doomed to fail.  The Army General Staff felt encroached upon in their exclusive right to govern the German State’s military fortunes – but Brauchitsch, promoted to Generalfeldmarschall, later conducted the Blitzkrieg against France – postponed until 1940.

Speer himself officially opposed and unofficially undermined not only any plans for destruction of the German infrastructure but also the attempt by SA remnants in the Party to ‘incompetently’ take over the economy and defence as the end drew closer. But as Speer documents in exhaustive detail - whatever final orders Hitler issued – starting from the Allied invasion of the Normandy in 1944 if not earlier Hitler was chaotically and inconsistently attempting to apply the age old military tactic of “burnt earth” as part of what in Nazi terms was called “total resistance” – always with the belief that the war would still be won.  He also contemplated destroying large parts of the French industrial plant, but was somehow persuaded not to by Speer under considerations of their possible reconquest.  (Apropos, the Vichy Navy really did scuttle its fleet at Toulon on 27th November 1942, successfully obstructing its capture by Rommel’s “Ghost Division” and the Waffen-SS 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich during “Operation Lila”.)

The direct physical annihilation of Germans was never the content/subject of Hitler’s orders, only the destruction of infrastructure, administrative and banking records, or forced evacuations – after or anticipating the breach in the front made by the enemy.  Even a month before the end, shortly after Hitler’s last orders for Germany to self-destruct, he pleaded with Speer to at least say that he still hoped they could or would win the war.  It was Hitler’s “ultimatum” for Speer – if he would give Hitler the verbal assurances of his belief in the Nazi victory, Hitler would retract his destruction orders.  Speer could not oblige Hitler regarding the outcome of the war – but he revived his erotic bonds enough to soften Hitler’s rage. (See Albert Speer, “Hitler’s Ultimatum” in Erinnerungen, ibid.)
As it is Hitler wavered many times in the degree of severity of these orders: destruction was trimmed down to inducing temporary disorder (Lähmung), he gave other contradictory orders to step up the production of tanks and fighter planes for which neither materials nor fuel existed, and otherwise stalled in the same manner as all those further down the chain of command.  No major German installation, coalmine or bridge was ever destroyed by German hand, let alone the transportation or communication networks.  Local commanders and Gauleiter refused Hitler’s orders for forced evacuations of civilians on military and hygienic grounds.  The melodramatic trappings of ‘l’état suicidaire’ were quasi-real elements of a homoerotic end-poker or rather Russian roulette played out between Hitler and his closest associates (Speer, Himmler, Göring etc) in their attitude of final desperation.  The stakes were always either loyalty or treason.

Foucault and Esposito demonstrate with their reference to Hitler’s alleged instructions as ‘proof’ of the suicidal nature of the ‘Nazi state’, that they implicitly identify this ‘state’ absolutely with the personal career and fortunes of Hitler – in other words not a state at all.  They are still fooled by Hitler’s superimposition of his ‘lifetime on worldtime’ – so that the suicide of Hitler, which took place, is ‘proof’ of the suicide of the Nazi people and their state which did not.  Hitler’s ‘last will and testament’ and his suicide are clearly the acts of a man whose own world has ended.  He was a “wreck, a bundle of nerves” an “old man” who trembled with fear when the explosions caused his living crypt of thick layers of concrete and earth to sway down below under the Berlin sand. Once his sartorial delight – the impeccable uniform – was decorated
with leftovers from his meals. (Speer, ibid., p. 474)  Regarding the two bodies of the king – it became brutally clear, that there had only ever been one; world time disappeared into lifetime.  Hitler finishes almost like Emil Jannings in Murnau’s Der letzte Mann (1924) – the once proud liveried doorman of a grand hotel who ends his career as the attendant in the men’s lavatory – reigning over a kingdom of cubicles and pisssoirs.
As Speer observes of Hitler in his final ‘death nest’: “Die Flucht in das zukünftige Todesgewölbe hatte, so schien mir immer, auch symbolische Bedeutung. (...) Wenn er vom Ende sprach, dann von dem seinen und nicht von dem des Volks.  Er hatte die letzte Station seiner Flucht vor der Wirklichkeit erreicht, (...)” [“The flight in the future death vault had also, as it always seemed to me, a symbolic meaning. (…) When he spoke of the end, it was his end and not that of the people.  He had reached the last station of his flight from reality, (…)”, ibid.]
Of his most intimate associates, the Goebbels couple were among the very few of his entourage in the Führerbunker to imitate his suicide.  In a letter to a son by a previous marriage, Mrs Goebbels explained her great joy to be able to follow the Führer in death.  They did not want to be alive in a world in which Nazism was dead.  Mrs Goebbels poisoned her 6 offspring with the help of the resident SS euthanasia doctor, before she and Goebbels shot themselves in the garden of the Reichskanzlei.
Hitler’s only consolation as he told his adjutant Nicolaus von Below after the collapse of the Ardennes offensive is that when “we go”, “we” will take a world (not just the German people) with us.  “Wir kapitulieren nicht, niemals.  Wir können untergehen.  Aber wir werden eine Welt mitnehmen.”[We will never capitulate, never.  We can perish.  But we will take a world with us.   (Nicolaus von Below, Als Hitlers Adjutant 1937-45, Mainz 1980, p. 398 quoted in Eckhard Nordhofen, Eschatologische Gewaltenteilung, Text und Zeit, online)] Hitler’s shrill bravado is both a tautology and an amphiboly – obviously when the enemy pushed Hitler and Nazism into the abyss, their Nazi world went with them – not the world of the victors.  Speer, ever observant of Hitler’s mood changes – describes another ‘end-Hitler’ from his last visit to the bunker.  Hitler spoke to him of his imminent death arrangements: “Ich werde nicht kämpfen.  Die Gefahr ist zu groß, daß ich nur verwundet werde und lebend in die Hände der Russen falle.  Ich möchte auch nicht haben, daß meine Feinde mit meinem Körper Schindluder treiben.  Ich habe angeordnet, daß ich verbrannt werde.  Fräulein Braun will mit mir aus dem Leben gehen und Blondi werde ich vorher erschießen.  Glauben Sie mir, Speer, es fällt mir leicht, mein Leben zu beenden.  Ein kurzer Moment, und ich bin von allem befreit, von diesem qualvollen Dasein erlöst.” [“I am not going to fight.  The danger is too great, that I’ll only be wounded and will fall into the hands of the Russians alive.  I also don’t want my enemies messing around with my body.  I have ordered, that I will be burned.  Fräulein Braun wants to go with me out of life and before that I shall shoot Blondi.  Believe me Speer, it is easy for me to end my life.  One brief moment, and I am liberated from everything, I am released from this torturous Dasein.” (Speer, ibid., p. 483)]

[Commentary:  Speer mentions an interesting detail of his automobile trip to Berlin for that farewell visit to Hitler – he notices that the Autobahn from Berlin in the direction of Hamburg is extraordinarily stuffed with all kinds of vehicles on their way out of Berlin.  They create a supernatural traffic jam.  He wonders how they all have so much petrol and speculates that this must have been that special reserve hoarded up for just this occasion.  Certainly such foresight shows a population with strong instincts of self-preservation.]   

The biopolitical concept of autoimmunity of the Nazi state (Esposito) contends it was an organism, which destroyed itself by a totally interior process of autotoxification.  Autoimmunity, in Esposito’s theory, implies a state of rightness or health, which then succumbs to its own powers of auto-destruction – the Nazi state, will have had to have been normal for it then to have moved/degenerated into an autoimmune abnormality.  Normal in this case would have been the ‘healthy’ bio-political sovereign Nazi bloc.
The description of the Nazi state as a ‘suicide state’ (Foucault) claims that it destroyed itself as a conscious act of sovereign will.

Both interpretations discount and deny the historical extirpation of this quasi-state by the enemy outside of it.

One might ask the simple question – would Hitler have issued any sort of ‘Nero’ orders, or killed himself and his dog had the ‘Russians’ not have driven him into that particular corner under the earth – had the Nazi Reich won their utopian “Endsieg”? 

Even at the point where life approached absolute zero on the Kelvin scale – at Auschwitz – when the Lager died from one moment to the next and the Germans were no longer in the towers – Primo Levi, during the last ten days before the Russians arrived in January 1945, could observe: “(…) something great and new was about to happen; we could finally feel a force around us which was not of Germany; we could concretely feel the impending collapse of that hated world of ours. (…) The Lager, hardly dead, had already begun to decompose.  No more water, or electricity, broken windows and doors slamming in the wind, loose iron-sheet from the roofs screeching, ashes from the fire drifting high, afar.” (Primo Levi, If this is a Man · The Truce, Abacus, 1987, pp. 161-164)

Although Foucault begins his lecture course “Society must be Defended” with an emphatic/resounding farewell to the notion of sovereignty as the exclusive source of power, when he comes to treat of the Nazi ‘State’ he returns to the full blown ‘theory of sovereignty’ he had just been in the process of abandoning.  So that the three principles of sovereignty discarded as insufficient for the analysis of power – “subject, unitary power and law” (“Society must be Defended”, ibid., pp. 43-44) – are dragged out of their coffins again to bolster up Foucault’s idealization of what he sees as the bio-political absolute state. 
“We have, then in Nazi society something that is really quite extraordinary: this is a society which has generalized biopower in an absolute sense, but which has also generalized the sovereign right to kill. (…) There was, in Nazism, a coincidence between a generalized biopower and a dictatorship that was at once absolute and retransmitted throughout the entire social body by this fantastic extension of the right to kill and of exposure to death.  We have an absolutely racist State, an absolutely murderous State, and an absolutely suicidal State.  A racist State, a murderous State and a suicidal State.  The three were necessarily superimposed, and the result was of course both the “final solution” (…) of the years 1942-1943, and then Telegram 71, in which in April 1945, Hitler gave the order to destroy the German people’s own living conditions. (…) That is where this mechanism inscribed in the workings of the modern State leads.  Of course, Nazism alone took the play between the sovereign right to kill and the mechanisms of biopower   to this paroxysmal point.  But this play is in fact inscribed in the workings of all States.” (“Society must be Defended”, ibid. p. 260)  

Fixated as he is on a principle of sovereignty, Foucault does not notice how this so-called generalizing of the sovereign right to kill negates and cancels precisely his postulated absolute sovereignty of the Nazi dictatorship.  So much is true – the power over life and death, traditionally regarded as an exclusive sovereign right – is no longer the monopoly of the sovereign in the Nazi entity.  This dissolving of the monopoly of sovereign violence is just another way of saying that sovereignty in its traditional form is itself dissolved.  So that – “This power to kill, which ran through the entire social body of Nazi society, was first manifested when the power to take life, the power of life and death, was granted not only to the State but to a whole series of individuals, to a considerable number of people (such as the SA, the SS, and so on).  Ultimately, everyone in the Nazi State had the power of life and death over his or her neighbors, if only because of the practice of informing, which effectively meant doing away with the people next door, or having them done away with.” (Foucault, ibid., p. 259)  

Similarly, there is absolutely no ‘necessary superimposition’ of the “fantastic extension of the right to kill” upon an absolute exposure of the German population to death.  How is this logically conclusive?  If a population has acquired greater powers over life and death – of a fantastic nature – why are they therefore more exposed to death?  In keeping with Foucault’s tenets of nascent bio-power – they would rather be less exposed to death to the degree that they are free to murder/kill/expel those others whom they consider to be endangering their own species-livelihood.  They have the right to exercise their own pragmatic eugenics and social Darwinism – and as an added gain confiscate the property of the exterminees.  Or is he suggesting their right to kill itself exposes them to the risk of imminent death from their own kind, hence implicitly re-inventing the rationale of a Hobbesian Leviathan – the need of a salutary power meant to end the bellum omnium contra omnes?
Foucault’s false nexus between a real generalizing of the right to kill in Nazi society and the so-called greater exposure to death of the German mass (‘hardening of the race’) leads him directly to his fallacy of the “absolutely suicidal State”.
One wonders how it is possible for Foucault, who defines himself as a diligent historical researcher, to compare the fact of the “final solution” (which did not stop in 1943, but went on till the last gasping breath of the Hitler world in 1945) with mere orders to carry out a so-called ‘suicide’ of the state and its people that were never obeyed or only ‘as if’. On the contrary, German resentment till this day of the Allied bombing campaign and their national obsession of the ‘Vertriebene’ (‘the Expelled’, Germans of East Prussia and other Eastern European countries fleeing the advancing Soviet army) show there was (and is) no inherent suicidal drive in the population.  The majority of the population - from the rich peasants of Westphalia to the zealots of Hitler’s inner following (Gefolgschaft), such as Gauleiter and SS, believed until the final moment that the Führer could never lose, that he was luring the enemy in so close, into his trap so as to bring about the big turning point and the final victory with the “Wunderwaffe” (the wonder weapon).  For them he was still the ‘wolf’ – the belief in his miracle to come, the legendary “Wunderwaffe”, that even the most sober Nazi clung to till the end – was perhaps a relic of the ancient cult of the thaumaturgical kings.

[Commentary:  Apparently even after Hitler and Goebbels ceased proclaiming the imminent deployment of the “wonder weapon” – the rumours spread even more wildly, especially through the horoscope pages of the newspapers.  The German people believed the astrological predictions more than the main news – although the propaganda ministry manipulated them in equal measure.  Goebbels also charged Schwarz van Berk with the circulation of unofficial rumours leaked directly from the internal meetings of Speer’s armament conferences (Rüstungstagungen) – something Speer found out quite late, during the Nuremberg Trials.  “Tatsächlich stellte Goebbels (…) die Meldungen über neue Waffen ein.  Sonderbarerweise aber verstärkten sich die Gerüchte.  Erst im Nürnberger Prozeß erfuhr ich von Fritzsche, einem der ersten Mitarbeiter des Propagandaministers, daß Goebbels ein Spezialressort zur Verbreitung dieser Gerüchte unter Schwarz van Berk eingerichtet hatte.  Nun war mir auch klar, warum diese Gerüchte der Zukunftsentwicklung so nahekamen.  Wie oft saßen wir bei unseren Rüstungstagungen abends zusammen und malten uns die neuen Entwicklungen der Technik aus; auch die Möglichkeiten einer Atombombe wurden dabei erörtert.  Schwarz van Berk aber hatte als Berichterstatter an diesen Tagungen oft teilgenommen und war auch bei den abendlichen Zusammenkünften dabei gewesen.”  (“In fact Goebbels suspended reports about the new weapons.  Strangely, the rumours grew stronger.  It was first in the Nuremberg Trial that I found out from Fritzsche, one of the top collaborators of the propaganda minister, that Goebbels had established a special department for the dissemination of these rumours under Schwarz van Berk.  Now it was clear to me why these rumours came so close to the future developments.  How often did we sit together in the evening at our armament conferences and pictured to ourselves the new developments of technology; also the possibilities of an atom bomb were mentioned on these occasions.  Schwarz van Berk had often taken part in these conferences as a reporter and was also present at the evening gatherings.” Speer, Erinnerungen, ibid., p. 418)
Speer’s claim that he had belated knowledge of the role of van Berk is not quite credible – as he sent a letter in December 1944 to van Berk retracting the invitation to attend these armament conferences after van Berk used sensitive information – “for the second time” - in his article published 10th December 1944 in the magazine Das Reich. (Speer, ibid. p. 579)  In the matter of the “wonder weapon” Speer seems a divided soul – especially considering he had been in charge of its realisation and its failure to materialize.] 

Whatever vindictive orders Hitler issued from his hiding place, the Führerbunker deep in the ground underneath the Reichskanzlei in Berlin, they were little more than an impotent hysterical response to the ongoing relentless annihilation of the Nazi entity by the Red Army and the Allied Forces.  Eyewitnesses described his condition at that time as a “cake gorging ruin” (See Joachim Fest, Der Untergang, Fest Verlag, 2002, p. 135).  Still as late as the 27th of April, 3 days before Hitler’s suicide, a sliver of a propaganda-rumour that the long awaited saviour, Generalleutnant Wenck and his ‘army’ had been sighted in a suburb of Berlin could reawaken in Hitler and his Bunker-companions old euphoric visions of the Russians being bled to death in Berlin (‘Ausbluten der Russen’) and of ‘Endsieg’ (total victory).
[The so-called “Nero-Order” of March 19th 1945 expressed Hitler’s desire to turn Germany into a “Zivilisationswüste” (civilisation desert).  If he issued another such order in April – it would seem that the desert had not yet materialized.  In fact, between 18th March and 7th April 1945 Hitler issued twelve different contradictory orders regarding ‘destruction’.] 

But Foucault’s  fascination with the Nazi anomaly, the so-called ‘état suicidaire’, leads him to other theoretical contortions.
By way of a detour through the “paroxysmal” and the “extraordinary” of the Nazi regime – Foucault regresses in his own methodological considerations to a point prior to his dismantling of sovereignty as a privileged category for the analysis of power.  He absolutizes the Nazi state where the sovereign right to kill has been generalized – clouding his better judgement or avowed principles of the analysis of states in general.  So that the Nazi State – its alleged absolute sovereignty – becomes the model for a restored sovereignty of all States.  Foucault’s corresponding analysis of Nazi ‘biopower’ must naturally once again presuppose a state monopoly of power - although the Nazi State and the German mass/population coincide so as to become one in the generalized sovereign right to kill.  He must also forego his ‘new’ ‘Clausewitzian’ perspective of a society/state in perpetual war with itself.  Esposito echoes these sentiments in the context of his idea of “immunity”: “Nazism works within that logic (immunitary) in such a paroxysmal manner as to turn the protective apparatus against its own body, which is precisely what happens in autoimmune disease.  The final orders of self-destruction put forward by Hitler barricaded in his Berlin bunker offer overwhelming proof.” (Bíos, ibid., p. 10)

[Commentary: Esposito repeatedly invokes “Telegram 71” as the sole historical evidence he needs to ‘prove’ his theory of Nazi autoimmunity. (see ibid. p. 116)  It seems to matter little to him for the “overwhelming proof” of this contention that the “self-destruction” of German living conditions never took place.
His comparison of autoimmune disease and Nazism’s demise is merely a rewarming of the hackneyed analogy of the state as a social body – it is certainly not drawn from any immanent ‘biopolitical specificity’.  In this analogy Esposito reveals the strains in his imposition of a biologistic form on an aggregate of administrative, military and economic (including negative value/reproduction) decisions or orders – in this case orders which were not obeyed.  The word of the Führer had ceased to be law in the case of “destruction”.]    

Most revealingly, Badiou chooses his meditation on Heidegger in Being and Event to ponder upon the multiplicity of nature and its intimate determination of the ‘normal’.  Starting with Heidegger – which is where he always begins (with an almost palpable bending of the knee for the ‘master’, a rhetorical tremolo and touching of the forelock in his prose) – but in this case specifically with Heidegger’s dogmatic anointing of the Greek physis to be not just nature but being – Badiou translates Heidegger’s ‘constancy of being’ into some of his mathematical set jargon.  He thereby demonstrates the ‘stasis’ of interiority (called inclusion, belonging) underlying his own concept of state and state of the situation.
“What could be more stable than what is, as multiple counted twice in its place, by the situation and the state?  Normality, the maximum bond between belonging and inclusion is well suited to thinking the natural stasis of a multiple.  Nature is what is normal, the multiple re-secured by the state.” (Alain Badiou, Being and Event, London/New York, 2007, pp. 127-128)
One wonders how temporality, historicity, the event could ever enter or interrupt all this normal and natural stability of the state.  Nature, says Badiou following Heidegger, is absolute normality – similar to one of the three dispositifs of Nazihood singled out by Esposito – the absolute normativization of life. (see “The Philosophy of Bíos” in Esposito, Bíos, ibid. p. 11)

Perhaps not surprisingly, Foucault’s followers in particular Agamben – ignore what seems to be a very unambiguous precept of his genealogies of power.  “In order to make a concrete analysis of power relations, we must abandon the juridical model of sovereignty.” (“Society must be defended”, ibid., p. 265)
(Here he also seems to part ways totally with Derrida’s “Force of Law” and the ‘Mystical Foundation of Authority’, as well as The Beast and the Sovereign.  When one thinks the ‘essence’ of power, its concreteness – then only minus the law and the monarchical sovereign.  The king’s head must roll in the discourse of power, says Foucault.)
Agamben must thus try to reconcile the dynamic anti-state (the only living part of the Nazi entity) with some casuistically determined juridical construct called the ‘state of exception’ – so as to rescue his symbiotic duality of “sovereign power and bare life”.  Not even Carl Schmitt can redeem this antiquated model.   
Foucault though in forfeiting the ‘juridical model of sovereignty’ at the same time dispenses with an essential ‘terminological mask’ of power in the form of the sanctioned violence conserved in the law.  Although the so-called ‘state of exception’ in the Third Reich was simply a “society without law, prey of pure caprice (…)” (Adorno, Negative Dialektik, ibid., p. 303) – in a society with law – law itself “conserves terror in society, ready to go back to it at any moment with the help of quotable statutes.” (ibid.)  In either case – there is no need to hypostatize a ‘state of exception’.    
But Foucault’s “genealogy of the modern state” has an obvious entelechy, a predetermined end – that of the Nazi ‘state’ – whose supposed type of power compels him the most – so-called bio-power.  Thus he will present the history or prehistory of biopolitics in quasi-millenarian terms – subtly moulding the millenarian longing for a “day of revenge” - as if it were foretelling the advent of the “new Führer” and “the Third Reich”:  
“Throughout the whole of the Middle Ages, and even later, the theme of perpetual war will be related to the great, undying hope that the day of revenge is at hand, to the expectation of the emperor of the last years, the dux novus, the new leader, the new guide, the new Führer; the idea of the Fifth Monarchy, the third empire or the Third Reich, the man who will be both the beast of the Apocalypse and the saviour of the poor. (…) it’s the two Fredericks – Barbarossa and Frederick II – waiting in their caves for their people and their empires to reawaken; (…)”(“Society must be defended”, ibid., p. 57)

The deep flaw in Foucault’s construction of that shadowy “historico-political discourse” against a “philosophico-juridical discourse” of sovereignty as the sole locus of power, manifests itself especially in his ‘genealogy of hope’.  How can this be a “partisan” discourse of power or resistance ‘from below’, of war against sovereignty and state power, if it merely takes the form of a mass longing for another unknown sovereign – the new Führer and the new empire who will bring salvation to the poor?  Only the Fifth Monarchy Men, an insurrectionary group during the English Civil War and Interregnum, correspond to the idea of resistance to sovereign power – one “that cuts off the king’s head (…) does without a sovereign and denounces him”, (ibid.).

Rather than being a subversive underground history of resistance – Foucault’s ‘other’ discourse – the “historico-political discourse” seems in his presentation to flow directly into what he identifies as Nazi biopower, its Führer and the Nazi mass.

Hitler’s bohemian lifestyle caused Speer to secretly wonder when the Führer ever worked – going to bed at 5:00 am after hours of watching musicals, eating cream cakes and unending monologues to the cronies at Berghof (during which he sometimes nodded off) then waking at 12:00 noon, more concerned with his digestion and Dr. Morell than the state of German armaments. 

In the early days of his career in Munich he groomed himself as a cavalier servente of numerous society ladies, some of whom such as the wife of the piano manufacturer Bechstein were his ardent benefactresses.  The notables of the Nazi party did not always view this approvingly.  Some saw the future Führer as a sponger, a parasite, a womanizer.  No one really knew how Hitler financed his affluent lifestyle – although not yet particularly flashy it certainly allowed him to spend most of his time in cafes, restaurants, upper class salons, the cinema (sometimes 4 movies a day), ride around in his own car and even pay the salary of a chauffeur, bodyguard and other assistants.  When some of the old guard such as Drexler dared to question his finances, he issued an ultimatum – before quitting the party.  The condition for his return – resignation of the party committee, the position of first chairman and dictatorial powers over the party for himself.  Hitler also refused to consider any association with other parties – either ‘Anschluß’ or nothing.   The politics of the engorgement of the adversary made their first appearance.
The opposition collapsed the following day – “castrating itself” in the rush to acknowledge the “dictator”. (See Wulf C. Schwarzwäller, Hitlers Geld, Von armen Kunstmaler zum millionenschweren Führer, Wiesbaden, 2001, pp. 90-91)  They began to address him as “Führer”. The Nazi/Hitler dictatorship is anticipated in the internal cabals of the Nazi party around the person of Hitler – the beginning of his “Byzantine” style which Speer (only later) so condemned and regretted.  This is his first successful ‘coup’, the first declaration of the ‘state of exception’.  As a response to the party’s dissatisfaction with his appropriating, accumulating large private funds, Hitler demands dictator ‘powers’ (diktatorische Machtbefugnisse) in the party.  The money question ends in absolute power of the “Führer principle” – at first in the party itself.   The simple principle that the Führer has all the money he wants, no questions asked was voluntarily inscribed after 1934 in the official mammoth sized double-edged slush fund called the “Adolf Hitler Spende der Deutschen Wirtschaft” (Adolf Hitler Donation of the German Economy), vaguely similar to ‘The Prince’s Trust’.  His most loyal and vicious watchdog – Martin Borman, exclusively administered the fund.  Neither the party nor the state had any jurisdiction over these monies.  The bottomless Croesus fund represented one of the major sources of Hitler’s personal wealth – a figure of billions calculated in today’s currency.  Into it flowed endless tax-free contributions of heavy industry magnates especially Krupp and Thyssen and every other German employer – four times a year.  Thyssen had been the personal fairy godmother of Hitler, Göring and the Nazi Party since the twenties.  Hitler used his private fund for a myriad of purposes and whims: for instance the permanent construction site of his ‘Xanadu’ kingdom Berghof on the Bavarian mountain of Obersalzberg, rewarding old Nazi vassals – so-called ‘old fighters’, Eva Braun’s wardrobe and jewellery (she would go directly to Borman, who decided on this himself), donations to Winifred Wagner, buying up his family’s former homes in his birthplace Braunau and destroying biographical evidence including persons conflicting with his tales in Mein Kampf as well as projects to turn Linz into the Führer’s private city and his art collection supposed to rival the Louvre.  Many of the more extravagant toys bought with this wealth like the teahouse “Adlerhorst” (30,000,000 Reichsmark) built directly into the mountaintop had to be kept secret from the public who liked to see their Führer as a ‘man of the people’ with simple appetites. (Hitlers Geld, ibid., pp. 195 ff)  Hitler tired of his Barbarossian teahouse after a year – it reverted to an aerie for the remainder of the Third Reich.

The work of a tyrant is not labour – it is pure manifestation of will.  The rank and file are the will-less tools of the tyrant – they are the workers of his will, everybody besides him is his subjectless subject.  Whereas he does not work at all.  His is the workless will – or workless work.   There is only one subject in the tyrannical state – one Being who can say “I” – the tyrant himself or the “last man”.
Similarly, the word of the Führer is law – there is no need for a practise or activity of law – it issues fully formed from the Führer’s mouth.  Like Athena from the head of Zeus, the law from the Führer’s mouth, tongue, breath, etc.

The politics of work or action – or type?  Action is key to Arendt’s idea of the political – just as Heidegger begins his Letter on Humanism with the question “What is action?”, referring pointedly to thinking begun in 1936 – and Badiou’s event presupposes a theory of the act of the militant subject.  The event is almost only a ‘pretext’ for the emerging of the militant-subject of what one cannot decide upon – the undecidable character of the event.

In our time, the last man is no man – it is Capital. (the part of no-part?)

With the disappearance of the individual, the form of tragedy disappears as well.  Such a non-individual is no longer happy or unhappy – his drives, passions etc are themselves as commensurable as his availability (replaceability, ‘readiness-to-hand’) for flexible insertion in the production process of the average.  His desires are pre-formed by the “multitude”.  How can they stray far?  The communism of desires has long been enacted, at least since fascism.  Perhaps it is also time to discard the worn out model of tragedy as a ground of philosophy or even truth – still dear to Badiou’s heart as shown by his frequent citing of Aeschylus’s invention of tragedy as one of the great art or truth events of the history of mankind.  But does this event still resonate today as truth?  Or is not late world capitalism a propitious moment to break with the eternal return at least regarding the ‘birth of tragedy’.  Is not tragedy today – and perhaps already in the thought of Schiller, Hölderlin and even Hegel - a mere vehicle of the heroization/glorification of the risk shy middle classes – whose most fearful thoughts circle around the loss of property, status and social death.  In its first revival in German idealism – Greek tragedy at least gave the middle classes a certain dignity in their nascent rebellion against their aristocratic masters.   Tragedy guilds such ordinary private concerns with an aura of antique glory or ‘depth’.  Thus the critique of tragedy would also be one of false bottoms and fake abysses.  As Adorno writes:  “It is my view that it is high time for a critique of the category of tragedy, not as a sublime and permanently valid expression of the human spirit, but as an heirloom from the stock of possessions of the middle classes.” (Theodor W. Adorno, Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, translated by Rodney Livingstone, Stanford, 2001, p. 187)  One may add that these possessions as usual were passed on as hand-me-downs to the working class – where they were awakened to new spurious life for instance in Brecht’s and Döblin’s petty thieves and murderers intoxicated or electrified with affect or Lukacs’ sedate “Fauststudien”.  The category of tragedy translated into the maudlin dramas of working class passion flowed/escaped directly into the personal myth of Hitler – used as a stock-in-trade of ‘metaphysical’ drama till this day.  A most recent example is the English production of Berlioz’ opera Damnation of Faust performed by ENO (English National Opera) and directed by Terry Gilliam (London Coliseum 2011).  But the stunted Greek tragedy or the underclass back alley ‘drama of fate’ typical of such productions would not be possible if Goethe hadn’t already in his day used a fait divers of a child murderess sentenced to death for murdering her own child, to flesh out his character of Faust’s true love – Marguerite or Gretchen.  In the ENO production not even Mephisto is exempt from being tainted by the atmosphere of a sweaty sleazy lower class ‘nest warmth’ à la Berlin Alexanderplatz or Wings of Desire – at one embarrassing point he shows off his hairy physique and bulging executioner arms in a white sleeveless ribbed undershirt smeared with blood.  Besides “Arbeit macht frei” which flashes across the stage at the opera production’s final moment of epiphany – another motto for Gilliam’s ‘Faust’ would be that folk wisdom “Nothing worse than working for the working class.”

In the case of Hitler, his individuation emerging from the pre-individual primordial bog (miasma) of German collectivity re-collectivized the German entity according to the specifics/specifications of his own physiology.  Between Führer and Volk the bond of Artgleichheit (identity of type) is forged, according to both Schmitt and Heidegger, an imperative (absolute condition) for racial community.  This is what makes him a German hero.  There is only one hero at a time.  There is never room for more than one.  Has any novel ever had more than one?  He is the last tyrant.  There is the hero and there are the parasites of the hero.  And the ‘dark men’ of whom the hero is a parasite.  The hero draws all the disquietude, private individuated restlessness of the ensemble of non-individuals into his one heroic action of Being.  His Being is primary Action – everything else flows from this.  His One Action of Being tranquilises all the private antagonistic disquietude, the ‘Ur-quarrel of earth and world’ (Heidegger); giving the social mass the sensation of collective nirvana, a post-orgasmic state, of being folded in the embrace of Being.  The hero who rises up out of their ranks and who will be carried by them, must have the professional and full-time ability to protect the finite insatiable mass emotion from its decomposing.  In this sense, according to Badiou’s system, such a hero would be the only faithful subject of the event of the ‘mass’.
Naturally this state of being is not a constant; it must be renewed with ever-greater orgasms followed by ever-deeper nirvana.  All further actions of the masses are only mediated via the hero.  Strictly speaking, they do not act at all.  Their collective has become a form of mass autohypnosis.  The Many (pre-individual) and the One (individual) of the Führer is mirrored in the Many and the One of the mass.  Hence the sheer relief of it – being incorporated in the Action Being or Action Body of the Hero gives the gift of healing nature.  If the hero-Führer is an action body for the mass through which they achieve the impossible aporetic state of quiet in unquiet or non-action in action - he bestows upon them this miracle of Eros.  But only under one magical condition – never tell your love.

Nazism was archaic in its “work ethic”.  Surprisingly in the new ‘political theologies’ of today (Agamben, Nancy, Blanchot et al.) work has fallen out of favour.  Instead, the figure of the voyou desœuvré, the ‘inoperative’, the undecided good-for-nothing has become the prototype for the “coming community”.
“The theme of desœuvrement-inoperativeness as the figure of the fullness of man at the end of history – which first appears in Kojève’s review of Queneau, has been taken up by Blanchot and by Nancy, who places it at the very center of his work The Inoperative Community.  Everything depends on what is meant by “inoperativeness”.  It can be neither the simple absence of work nor (as in Bataille) a sovereign and useless form of negativity.  The only coherent way to understand inoperativeness is to think of it as a generic mode of potentiality that is not exhausted (like individual action or collective action understood as the sum of individual actions) in a transitus de potentia ad actum.” (Homo Sacer, ibid., p. 62) 

What then is the voyou desœuvré?  Although Agamben is not the inventor of the term, he attributes to it an almost revolutionary messianic pathos.  Certainly, the voyou is hardly the proletarian consciousness in the Lukacs style, in which the collective act of class-consciousness transforms history.  The figure is first an absence or a void – someone who has no employment, no use in the historical present or only a negative one.  Agamben considers this figure to be an emblem of Aristotelian potentiality, someone whose significance if any is not existent now but may be later - in a future he connotes as ‘messianic’ or borrowing Kojève’s concept, as the ‘end of history’.  But the potentiality he has in mind is not really situated in the future - or only as far as the future is not the potentiality of what could be but of what could have been.  The future implied by Agamben’s idea of potentiality is actually a repetition of what was latent in the past but could not appear because of the past itself.  It is the past, which was in the way of itself.  The ‘simple’ future has the form of the unknown and the new, it must be invented – the ‘past’ future has the form of regret – missed opportunity which emphasizes lack, a sort of ‘almost’ but not quite, not to be confused with Bloch’s “Noch-Nicht”.  In a sense it is quite similar to the backward looking “fidelity to the event” so central to Badiou’s ‘philosophy of history’.  In the same way potentiality is displaced into the past, the voyou could be the retrograde agent of Badiou’s fidelity to the event.
(“Note that the subject of fidelity is, in this way, directly comparable to Agamben’s workless subject.” (see Tim Fisken, “On the Politics of Endless Thought”, online, PDF, p.23))

Is this the real meaning of voyou desœuvré, the ‘model’ of the voyou, the workless dictator Hitler?

The voyou like the event is an “exception” – meaning the figure has no specific place in the contemporary sphere, yet in its negativity defines and exceeds the limit of that sphere towards both the past and the future of that superseded yet unfinished past. 
The voyou is thus also an ‘excessive subject’.
Both Badiou and Agamben seem to exclude any possibility of something ever happening for the first time.  An event is always something, which has happened prior to whatever it is encompassing the “fidelity to the event”.  (Badiou speaks of the event as a rupture – but is it really the case?  The subject constructing itself in its fidelity to such an event, though does not project itself into an unmade future – but back towards something it has later perceived to have been that unrepresented indiscernible element of the state constituting a newness called by Badiou an event.  So the event and consciousness of the event or its subject are distinctly separate (ungleichzeitig) – the event clearly preceding the subject in time.)  Radical political theory and practise is perhaps infinite and inexhaustible but open only in the direction of the past.

Axiom 2:  The exception is the parasite of the rule.
Axiom 2a:  The rule is the parasite of the exception.

Commentary to Axiom 2:

What was ‘presented’ and what was ‘represented’ in “My Night in the Bad Class”? (Silent performance from The Accident Colony, Triptych from the Dark Night of Suburbia)  The Fly-Woman was in the play without being in the play.  Her invisibility was a deepening of the silences of the ‘silent play’.  The play was constructed around her absence/presence.  The physical space, empirical armature of the evental site, was too small to even contain her presence.  Is this the ‘edge of the void’?  If so, then she determines the event “My Night in the Bad Class” in more ways than one -  “the local determination of a site (…) a situation in which at least one multiple on the edge of the void is presented.” (Alain Badiou, Being and Event, ibid., p. 179)
The multiple is “abnormal” – the one on the edge of the void.  She was never dismissed; the play and its night must grow towards her.  The Fly-Woman is the condition of the event “My Night in the Bad Class”.  A site though, according to Badiou, is only retroactively qualified as ‘evental’ by the occurrence of an event.  Badiou’s entire system is retroactive, because the event itself does not or cannot just ‘occur’.  The existence of an event in its own evental site is the result of an “interpretive intervention” happening at a time x subsequent to all that.  In other words only the interpretation from beyond the situation (the grave of the present, each moment a tomb) can “declare” if the event took place or not (ibid., p. 181).
The event is an aftermath of itself, an infinite delay (postponing) of Being.  The event haunts itself.
The Fly-Woman (long green coat and black stockings) is included in the situation but not a member of “My Night in the Bad Class”.  The Blue-Coat Boy (long blue coat and yellow stockings) is neither included nor a member.  He is a parasite of the parasite.
The Fly-Woman has a coat made of a lighter material for the warmer seasons and another rough green coat for the colder seasons.  Both are floor length.  The Blue-Coat Boy has only one long heavy coat for all year round.
They are both versions/phenotypes of ‘weak Messiahs’, not to be confused with the ‘lost messiah’ – weak Messiahs are pure presence, they do not get lost or go missing.  They are unable not to be present.  (“What’s out tonight is lost”, Edna St Vincent Millay, Phil Solomon)

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