The Gestalt of Freedom

    The Opening

    It is a significant honour to address the theme of the Gestalt of freedom, in the work of Ernst Jünger, here in Euskalherria. The continuing struggle of the Basque nation for independence raises vital issues for all mankind in our time: issues which Jünger, in his long life, has never ceased to examine and illuminate. Here, it is not an academic matter, but a matter of life and death – if a methodology fails to result in the desired goal, it is the methodology that should be scrapped, and not the goal.
    In the Jüngerian framework, it is not surprising that the Basque people are first betrayed by dictatorship and then by constitutional democracy. Next door in France, the primary model of the democratic constitution, enshrining rights of freedom, they claim also their right to forbid their citizens to cede from the national state. You may choose everything except the right to reject the englobing system, thus in Spain, America and Russia. This has not been understood. Everyone will vote in the coming election. The structuralist state is nothing other than a receptor of debt to the new power structure of oligarchy finance, whose personnel are elected by no known franchise. Solzhenitsyn has bitterly demonstrated that the horror of the Gulag was not an abuse of the Soviet constitution but an enthusiastic application of it.
    This century, which has been Jünger’s life, reveals itself as fraught with contradictions. Its greatest victims, after enormous suffering, have in turn become the executioners. In 1945, according to History Professor Norman Stone at Oxford University, we have the macabre spectacle of Doctor Mengele driving around the ruins of Hamburg with a case full of human eyes, extracted for his bizarre research, from concentration camp victims. In 1989, on BBC television, we have the heart-rending appeal of a woman doctor for a hundred glass eyes for the children, aged from six months to twelve years, victims of the Israeli army, which has targeted the eye to terrorise the families of the Intifada. Moral contradiction. Political contradiction too, embedded in the once potent dialectic between left and right. Thatcher kisses Gorbachov. Les extrêmes se touchent.

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