April 30, 2007

Fanaticism 3

In Borders today, I was pleasantly surprised to find a book of speeches by Robespierre, the man most responsible for the French terror. I've never read anything by Robespierre, so I bought the book.

The introduction, by one Slavoj Zizek, was something of a revelation. Here is Zizek on one of the four principles we must adopt to avoid (tellingly, I think) ecological catastrophe:

--and, last but not least, all this combined with trust in the people (the wager that the large majority of the people support these severe measures, see them as their own, and are ready to participate in their enforcement). One should not be afraid to assert, as a combination of terror and trust in the people, the reactivation of one of the figures of all egalitarian-revolutionary terror, the 'informer' who denounces the culprits to the authorities.

The whole introduction is an argument for terror--not of the freelance bin Laden sort, but rather state terror on a massive scale, operating on a "wager" that the people support it--or at least, that the informants do.

Lest we forget, sic semper tyrannis...


Posted by Ideofact at April 30, 2007 12:21 AM