Arkiv för april, 2010

Denise Levertov, Evening Train (1990)

En återfunnen dikt från arkiven…

‘Evening Train’

An old man sleeping in the evening train,
face upturned, mouth discreetly closed,
hands clasped, with fingers interlaced.
Those large hands
lie on the fur lining of his wife’s coat
he’s holding for her, and the fur
looks like a limp dog, docile and affectionate.
The man himself is a peasant
in city clothes, moderately prosperous—
rich by the standards of his youth;
one can read that in his hands,
his sleeping features.
How tired he is, how tired.
I called him old, but then I remember
my own age, and acknowledge he’s likely
no older than I. But in the dimension
that moves with us but itself keeps still
like the bubble in a carpenter’s level,
I’m fourteen, watching the faces I saw each day
on the train going in to London,
and never spoke to; or guessing
from a row of shoes what sort of faces
I’d see if I raised my eyes.
Everyone has an unchanging age (or sometimes two)
carried within them, beyond expression.
This man perhaps
is ten, putting in a few hours most days
in a crowded schoolroom, and a lot more
at work in the fields; a boy who’s always
making plans to go fishing his first free day.
The train moves through the dark quite swiftly
(the Italian dark, as it happens)
with its load of people, each
with a conscious destination, each
with a known age and that other,
the hidden one—except for those
still young, or not young but slower to focus,
who haven’t reached yet that state of being
which will become
not a point of arrest but a core
around which the mind develops, reflections circle,
events accrue—a center.
A girl with braids
sits in the corner seat, invisible,
pleased with her solitude. And across from her
an invisible boy, dreaming. She knows
she cannot imagine his dreams. Quite swiftly
we move through our lives; swiftly, steadily, the train
rocks and bounces onward through sleeping fields,
our unknown stillness
holding level as water sealed in glass.

-Denise Levertov, Evening Train (1990)

Antigones funktion – Ett referat av Judith Butlers Antigone’s Claim

I Antigone’s Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death från 2000, omdefinierar Judith Butler karaktären Antigones funktion från Sofokles tragedi Antigone. Butlers tolkning av Antigone kritiserar och skiljer sig från G. W. F. Hegels klassiska tolkning från Andens Fenomenologi (1807), och inlägget nedan är ett omskrivet referat som sammanfattar de två första kapitlen i Antigone’s Claim samt Butlers syn på både Antigones funktion och Hegels tolkning.

I slutet av kapitel tre frågar Butler vem Antigone egentligen är, och vilken position hon har inom familjen samt det grekiska etiska livet. Butler frågar också hur vi ska se på Antigones dramatiska ord som utgör performativa akter. Butler hävdar att Antigone inte tillhör det mänskliga men att hennes språk tillhör mänsklighetens sfär. Antigone tillåts inte att agera, hon överträder förbudet och hennes agerande faller inte tillbaka på någon rådande norm. Antigone har inte rätt att utföra vissa handlingar eftersom hon regleras av lagar och sin position inom familjen, men hennes handlingar skakar om blodsförvantskapets vokabulär, vilket är en förutsättning för det mänskliga.

Butler menar att detta obetingat leder till att vi ställer oss frågan vilka dessa förutsättningar egentligen är. Antigone använder ett berättigat språk som hon samtidigt är utesluten från och tillskrivs ett språkbruk som inte kan ge henne en slutgiltig identitet. Butler konstaterar att om Antigone är mänsklig så drabbas det mänskliga (språket) av en katakres där vi inte längre vet hur vi ska använda språket på rätt sätt. Antigone fungerar som en korsställning (kiasm) inom de politiska normernas språk när hon använder ett språk som aldrig riktigt kan bli hennes.

Butlers slutsats är: Om blodsförvantskapet är en förutsättning för det mänskliga, så är Antigone subjektet för ett nytt fält inom det mänskliga, ett subjekt som uppstår genom politisk katakres där den icke-mänskliga talar som mänsklig, där könet blir förskjutet, och där blodförvantskapet grundas utifrån en uppsättning egna lagar. Antigone agerar, talar och blir till den individ vars handlingar är brottsliga, men denna olycka överskrider hennes liv och blir en del av en formell diskussion som Butler hävdar har ett eget lovande öde;  nämligen den sociala formens avvikande och okända framtid.


Kapitel 1 – Antigone’s Claim
Enligt Butler representerar Antigone ett förskjutet och förvridet släktband, vilket leder till att rådande klassiska representativa ideal hamnar i kris. Butler frågar oss: Vilka förutsättningar möjliggjorde Antigones liv och vilka relationer möjliggör de människoliv som uttryckligen motsätter sig blodsförvantskap och dess villkor?
I inledningen av kapitel ett frågar Butler vem Antigone är och menar att hennes arv präglas av Hegel, vars tolkning låter henne representera övergången från matriarkalt till patriarkalt styre och blodsförvantskap. Butler undersöker Antigones arv, kastar ljus på hennes betydelse, och frågar sig om Antigone verkligen är en representant för en feministisk politik samtidigt som dess funktion befinner sig i kris.

Butler tycker att Antigone inte representerar normativa principer för blodsförvantskap eftersom hennes arv präglas av incest, vilket omkullkastar hennes position inom blodsförvantskapet. Butler tolkar därmed Antigone utifrån ett humanistiskt perspektiv för att tragedin ställer många frågor om stat och blodsförvantskap, som i sin tur återkommer i andra kontexter. Butler menar att Hegel tolkar Antigone som en representativ karaktär för blodsförvantskapet samt dess upplösning, och att karaktären Kreon representerar en framväxande etisk ordning och statlig auktoritet baserad på universella principer. Butler förtydligar även att blodsförvantskapet finns med i utkanten av de termer som Hegel kallar ”the ethical order”, det politiska deltagandet och kulturella normer: det vill säga den sfär som justerar sittlichkeit genom lagar.

Hegel ser släktband som blodsförvantskap snarare än en normrelation, för att släktbanden inte ingår i det sociala som inleds när släktbanden åsidosätts. Butler kritiserar Hegels tolkning för att den förutsätter seperationen av släktband och stat, även fast det antas finnas en viktig relation mellan dem. Butler skriver att det således är svårt att föra fram en viss karaktär som representativ för blodsförvantskapet eller staten utan att förlora deras stabilitet och begriplighet. Butler anser att relationen har betydelse i en modern kontext där släktbandens politik bidragit till dess kris.

Enligt Butler talar Antigone i kraft av statens språk vilket hon gör uppror mot, och att hennes position är omoralisk samt oren, vilket pekar tillbaka på Antigones incestpräglade blodsförvantskap. Antigones språk liknar Kreons – en kung vars suveränitet vilar på blodslinjen – för att det präglas av både handling och auktoritet när Kreon blir utmanövrerad av Antigones motstånd. Butler hävdar att detta är ett tydligt exempel på att karaktärernas positioner går in i varandra och att det inte finns någon lättolkad relation mellan dem.

Konsekvensen av Antigones handlingar tar henne bortom både kön och släktbandsnormer och istället för att upprätthålla en idé om gränsöverskridandets misslyckande, hävdar Butler att Antigones funktion avslöjar blodsförvantskapets kontingenta karaktär. Antigone kallas ”manlig” av kören, Kreon och budbärarna, men Butler frågar sig om hon verkligen får denna roll och suveränitet. Butler poängterar att Antigone inte alls är konsekvent när det gäller att följa lagar och visar att varken Kreon eller Antigone har fasta positioner: när Antigone talar och agerar antar hon en manlig roll, medan Kreons position osäkras av hennes handlingar.

När Antigone talar till Kreon utgör det en språklig handling som på samma gång förskjuter henne från sin egen handling. Om Antigone ska kunna hävda sig behöver hon anta maktens normer vilka hon paradoxalt nog motsätter sig. Antigone ställer sig inte bara emot lagen, utan hon antar även dess språk då hon begår handlingen som bryter mot lagen. Enligt Hegel har Antigone inga möjligheter att bidra med, eller ta emot erkännanden inom den etiska ordningen, och för Butler är Antigone en anti-generation som alltid redan är distanserad i förhållande till en tydlig representation.

Kapitel 2 – Unwritten Laws, Aberrant Transmissions
Antigone representerar en idé som motsätter sig både livet som sådant och det symboliska, och förutsättningarna för tillvaron etableras genom det symboliska som Antigone motsätter sig. Butler påminner oss om att Antigones handlingar leder till hennes död och frågar vad som får henne att agera på detta sätt. Kreon dödar inte Antigone utan förvisar henne enbart till att bli levande begravd, men Butler undrar om hennes öde är förutbestämt, eller om hennes död kanske framträder som nödvändig. Butler frågar sig om Antigones död signalerar något om nödvändighet och begriplighet inom den kulturella sfären och blodsförvantskapet.

Antigone övertar Kreons språk och talar i styrka av dennes politiska suveränitet, men Butler ifrågasätter auktoriteten hos Kreons ord. Orden bekräftas inte förrän hans suveränitet mottagits och överförts till kreons underordnade, vilket är vad kreon avser men som visar sig inte är fallet. Konflikt uppstår när Antigone vill samma sak som Kreon, vilket leder till att Antigones påståenden måste komma fram genom statens språk, men att dessa inte kan bekräftas inom statens sfär.

Hegel idealiserar blodsförvantskapet inom vilken Antigone agerar och Butler identifierar denna idealisering av blodsförvantskapet där Antigone representerar dess villkor, lagar och gudar. Butler hävdar att denna bild leder till konsekvenser och representationen i sin tur leder till ett brott i en annan publik sfär, samt att representanten för denna komplexitet faller utanför ramen för Andens Fenomenologi. Butler tar därför avstånd från Hegels tolkning och ämnar att ge sin egen.

Butler hävdar att Hegels tolkning av blodsförvantskapet definieras utifrån staten samtidigt  som blodsförvantskapet är en förutsättning för staten. För Butler representerar Antigone en forcerad förståelse av blodsförvantskapet i och med att hon bara delvis står utanför lagen. Varken blodsförvantskapets lagar eller statens lagar fungerar på individer som står under dessa och i Butlers tolkning upptar Antigone en position som är främmande för både blodsförvantskapet och staten.

Hegel menar att människor inom sfären för det etiska livet inte agerar som individer när de begår brott, utan ses endast som individer förutsatt att de tillhör gemenskapen. I Hegels filosofi är det ”jag” som agerar ett universellt ”jag” snarare än en individ, och när individen begår brott mister individen sin individualitet och blir ”vem som helst”. Hegel anser att den som begår ett brott, fastnar i en händelse där de bryter mot en lag då de följer en annan och tvärtom. En person kan antingen följa den gudomliga lagen eller den mänskliga lagen, men aldrig se båda samtidigt.

Hegel menar att skuld upplevs när dådet begås och Butler tar upp Oidipus, en karaktär som Hegel hävdar varken kan förneka brottet eller sin skuld. Hos Hegel finns det en koppling mellan skuld och rätt, men Butler inser att Antigone bekräftar att hon gjort rätt, även om hon samtidigt förstår att lagen som rättfärdigar hennes handling på samma gång är ett brott enligt Kreon. Butler menar att det inte går att rättfärdiga Antigones ställningstagande, för att lagen som hon åberopar kan bara användas på ett specifikt sätt och går inte att definieras som lag.

Butler kritiserar Hegel för att han separerar Oidipus från Antigone, i och med att han ursäktar Oidipus för dennes brott på grund av hans omedvetna handlingar, men skuldbelägger Antigone. Hos Hegel är det etiska medvetandet mer komplett, dess skuld oförlåtlig, och på grund av detta måste det etiska medvetandet erkänna det motsatta som sin egen aktualitet samt bekräfta skulden. Butler menar dock att även om Antigone bekräftar sin handling, så gör det bara saken värre för att hon inte förnekar att hon utfört den. Butler kritiserar Hegel för att hans tolkning leder till att kvinnor inte tillåts känna skuld: självmedvetandet hos den ångerfullt skyldiga är alltid redan med nödvändighet medierat av statens sfär.

Vad Hegel benämner som gemenskap, regering och stat, väljer Butler att benämna som den offentliga sfären, vilken Hegel menar säkerställer sin existens genom att inkräkta på familjen och skapar en inre fiende som Hegel identifierar som kvinnosläktet, vilket han kallar den eviga ironin i samhället. Butler kritiserar Hegel för att han förändrar Antigones språk så att det ska passa in i hans etiska format. Hegels analys och generalisering av kvinnor missar Antigones egenhet och utplånar hennes namn. Butler menar att utifrån Hegels analys så agerar kvinnor inte politiskt, men skapar privatisering av den politiska sfären, vilken regleras av universalitet.

Till sist, Butlers poäng är just att Antigone undviker den generalisering som Hegel redogör för, vilken suddar ut Antigone ur Andens Fenomenologi. Enligt Butler förvandlar Hegel Antigone så att hennes brott förlorar den lagenlighet som den skapar och tolkar Antigone som en modern kvinna. En modern kvinna som hon egentligen aldrig blir.

Referenser

Butler, Judith. 2000. Antigone’s Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death. Columbia University Press, New York.


DOOM4

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"Human action is purposeful behavior."

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"Bureaucratic management is management of affairs which cannot be checked by economic calculation."

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"Nobody can be at the same time a correct bureaucrat and an innovator."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"Seen from the point of view of the particular group interests of the bureaucrats, every measure that makes the governments payroll swell is progress."

–Ludwig von Mises, Planning for Freedom

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"The bureaucrat is not free to aim at improvement. He is bound to obey rules and regulations established by a superior body. He has no right to embark upon innovations if his superiors do not approve of them. His duty and his virtue is to be obedient."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"Only to bureaucrats can the idea occur that establishing new offices, promulgating new decrees, and increasing the number of government employees alone can be described as positive and beneficial measures."

–Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy and Government Interventions

"The trend toward bureaucratic rigidity is not inherent in the evolution of business. It is an outcome of government meddling with business."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Government’s War on the Creative Genius

“A genius is precisely a man who defies all schools and rules, who deviates from the traditional roads of routine and opens up new paths through land inaccessible before….But, on the other hand, the government can bring about conditions which paralyze the efforts of a creative spirit and prevent him from rendering useful services to the community.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Why Classical Liberalism Rejects War

“The liberal critique of the argument in favor of war is fundamentally different from that of the humanitarians. It starts from the premise that not war, but peace, is the father of all things. What alone enables mankind to advance and distinguishes man from the animals is social cooperation. It is labor alone that is productive: it creates wealth and therewith lays the outward foundations for the inward flowering of man. War only destroys; it cannot create. War, carnage, destruction, and devastation we have in common with the predatory beasts of the jungle; constructive labor is our distinctively human characteristic.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism: The Classical Tradition

Ludwig von Mises on Sound Money

“It is impossible to grasp the meaning of the idea of sound money if one does not realize that it was devised as an instrument for the protection of civil liberties against despotic inroads on the part of governments. Ideologically it belongs in the same class with political constitutions and bills of rights. The demand for constitutional guarantees and for bills of rights was a reaction against arbitrary rule and the nonobservance of old customs by kings. The postulate of sound money was first brought up as a response to the princely practice of debasing the coinage.”

–Ludwig von Mises. The Theory of Money and Credit

Murray N. Rothbard on Recovering from Economic Depressions

“It should be clear that any governmental interference with the depression process can only prolong it, thus making things worse from almost everyone’s point of view. Since the depression process is the recovery process, any halting or slowing down of the process impedes the advent of recovery. The depression readjustments must work themselves out before recovery can be complete. The more these readjustments are delayed, the longer the depression will have to last, and the longer complete recovery is postponed.”

–Murray N. Rothbard, Man, Economy, and State with Power and Market

Hans-Hermann Hoppe on Socialized Health Care

“With the socialization of the health care system through institutions such as Medicaid and Medicare and the regulation of the insurance industry (by restricting an insurer’s right of refusal: to exclude any individual risk as uninsurable, and discriminate freely, according to actuarial methods, between different group risks) a monstrous machinery of wealth and income redistribution at the expense of responsible individuals and low-risk groups in favor of irresponsible actors and high-risk groups has been put in motion.”

–Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy: The God That Failed

Ludwig von Mises on Civilization

"What distinguishes man from animals is the insight into the advantages that can be derived from cooperation under the division of labor."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Civilization

"Civilization is a work of peaceful co-operation."

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism

Ludwig von Mises on Civilization

"The foundation of any and every civilization, including our own, is private ownership of the means of production. Whoever wishes to criticize modern civilization, therefore, begins with private property."

–Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism

Ludwig von Mises on the Market Economy

"In the unhampered market economy there are no privileges, no protection of vested interests, no barriers preventing anybody from striving after any prize."

–Ludwig von Mises, Theory and History

Ludwig von Mises on Liberalism

"Liberalism champions private property in the means of production because it expects a higher standard of living from such an economic organization, not because it wishes to help the owners."

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism

Ludwig von Mises on Liberalism

"That Liberalism aims at the protection of property and that it rejects war are two expressions of one and the same principle."

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism


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