Sunday, January 5, 2014

Eso’s Chronicles 271 / 11
31—Our Deodorized Elite
© Eso A.B.
All comments appearing within brackets [ ] are editorial in origin. This series begins with Blog 264.


With the arrival of a Christianity with pretentions to globalization (actually Catholization; originally meaning ‘universalization’ today exchanged for ‘globalization’) acame also written law and dogma--the first evidence of which in the West began with is the Code of Hammurabi , which through the evolution of the idea of putting everything into writing (thus causing writing to become an objective ‘thing’) ultimately shaped the West as we know it today: something of a blank page, a desert actually, but decreed to be a ‘thing’ through the magic of legislation by a ‘democratic’ body that decreed Nature subject to human will that was willing to accomplishing its will through violence. We ought note, that the link above dates the cutting of the stone as 1280 AD, whereas the Magna Carta that deposed the the English King was cut in 1215 AD, a gap of 65 years separating the ‘thingifying’ of a new and uncharismatic way of exerting control over human natureand Nature itself.

One of the mysteries to about the Code of Hammurabi is its insistence on direct retribution and literal interpretation of judgement. In short, if you put a spell on me as in the very first law of the code. re: “1. If a man [you] has accused another [me] of laying a nertu (death spell) upon him, but has not proved it, he shall be put to death.” Note, that it is ‘I’, the man in power, who says that you have put the spell on me, whether you concur with it or not; and it is ‘I’ who puts you to death.

The authority that actualizes the death sentence is the King (or has his power-of-attorney); the King is imagined to be the sole authority behind the law, which then gets written and thereby turns into ‘law’ over any and all of my objections. It is the King and his advisors, who decide whether the ‘laying of the spell’ is a valid or invalid act.

Before I move too far ahead, let us be clear that the King is you, the reader, and I, the writer. This remains true whether we agree with each other or not, and though we are standing in our birthday suits and know that neither of us has the authority to put anyone to death unless put under the spell of an ‘exception’ as a soldier under orders to kill those that ‘I’, the King put under a spell of being my/ our enemies. If I refuse to obey such a ‘direct order’, I will be executed. After the King is deposed, his arbitrary ‘spell’ is replaced by a ‘written’ monument known as the Constitution, which, again, may be interpreted by ‘lawyers’ as arbitrarily as their power to do violence permits them—if there is no ‘law’ that demands him to replace his life for those of other lives.

It is obvious that the ‘problem’ with “the law” begins and ends with the attempt to limit the King’s authority to make decisions. The ‘problem’ has everything to do with whether or not you and I agree on the ‘law’ and its interpretation. In our own day the ‘problem’, ostensibly to make decisions more easy and just, is divided between three authorities: a) subjective authority (your or mine personal); b) objective authority (determined by the authority of the Constitution and its interpretation of what makes a transgressive act); and c) authority by ‘precedent’ (previous decisions of like or similar events, even if it is as preposterous as cutting off one’s left ear with one’s right hand).

The ‘problem’ of law becomes ever more complicated when there cannot be a ‘clear cut’ decision, because of a split opinion among the Constitutional or other ‘authorized’ decision makers. This is a time when the ‘law’ may be sent to an upper court for review and this is where the choice of a death sentence may on occasion be scratched from the law. This occurs when the law-making authority does not feel that it has the authority to choose death over life for an individual(s), because it may sense that (as a result of some fortuitous circumstance) the entire community is closely following case, that opinions among the public are divided, and that the authority’s existence may be at stake if society-at-large becomes outraged by its decision.

The latter instance is the reason for building up police and military powers (and sometimes giving the police the weapons of the military) to give the police autonomy and enable it to practice arbitrary or authoritarian law.

All of the above was understood in the distant past also, for which reason, the authorities then chose the authority of the King over the power of a Senate, Parliament, or Committee—given that the King did not lose his charisma (on which depended his authority and legitimacy). The only way the King could keep and not lose his charisma, and pass it on to his successor was if at the end of his reign, he sacrificed his life, an act through which he proved his sincerity as the keeper of communal order. It was as if to tell us: If I am responsible for sentencing you or someone near and dear to you to death, by my self-sacrificial act I show and prove to you and yours that I did so knowing that I would not escape suffering the same kind of fear, anxiety and uncertainty as everyone else.

Many will argue that if I or you ordered to their deaths hundreds of thousands or millions of people, the number is too large to be cancelled out by a singular self-sacrifice. However, implicit in my, the King’s, self-sacrifice is a social contract: all of society expects self-sacrifice from all the authorities who have presumed to be its leaders and whose decision making task may include sending people to their death by enforcing peace or making war. If such a sacrifice is not forthcoming from such an authority, then the King and anyone of his administration becomes homo sacer: “the man [naked, sacred and accursed] who cannot be murdered, sacrificed, but only killed.” It is when a King refuses to self-sacrifice himself that anyone in the kingdom has the right to kill him—because at such a time the authority of the society as a whole and the individual are conflated as one.

‘Killing’ the King is not (cannot be) anything but existential in its implications, because implicit in the definition of homo sacer is that God or Gods may kill the King—because he is unfit to be among them, yet he is forbidden to kill himself (in that suicide today is described as violence against one’s self). Nevertheless, a King may declare himself as having beomce ‘homo sacer’ and then take his own life as ‘homo sacer’.

By doing so, the King (and any individual who declares him-herself a sovereign being will deny ‘democratically’ established authority, because it is self-sacrifice (not ‘democracy’) that bonds a community.


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