In Zeiten des Verrats

Los Olvidados, Mexiko 1950, R.: Luis Buñuel.

Los Olvidados, Mexiko 1950, R.: Luis Buñuel.

In Zeiten des Verrats. Macht, Wahrheit und Subjektivität

Verrat definiert sich durch die illegitime Weitergabe eines geheimen Wissens. Doch sein Skandal liegt nicht einfach in dem informationspolitischen Nachteil, den er verschafft; er besteht im Zerreißen eines Bandes. Der Verrat zerstört ein Vertrauens- oder Verpflichtungsverhältnis. Genau genommen handelt es sich dabei nicht nur um ein Band, sondern die Verschlingung mehrerer Bänder, die im Akt des Verrats auf einmal zerrissen werden. Den offensichtlichsten Aspekt bildet das sogenannte soziale Band, also die Bindung der Subjekte untereinander. Zweitens steht mit dem Verrat eine andere Bindung auf dem Spiel, die der Subjekte an die Wahrheit. Und drittens geht es um die Bindung der Subjekte an sich selbst, um die Weise ihrer Subjektivierung.
Entsprechend geht die Untersuchung davon aus, dass eine Geschichte des Verrats mehr leisten kann als nur einen Beitrag zur Politik- und Ideologiegeschichte. Gerade weil hier soziales Band, Wahrheit und Subjektivität in so schreiender Weise auf dem Spiel stehen, ist das Verratsgeschehen in der Lage, etwas über die Konstitution dieser Bindungsverhältnisse auszusagen; nicht nur über jedes im Einzelnen, sondern auch über ihren Zusammenhang. Der Verrat könnte also selbst so etwas wie ein Indiz abgeben, ein „verräterisches“ Zeichen, an dem sich ein bestimmter Stand der Dinge ablesen lässt: eine Auskunft darüber, wie – in einer gegebenen historischen Konstellation – Macht, Wahrheit und Subjektivität ineinandergreifen und sich wechselseitig hervorbringen.

Ein Kommentar zu “In Zeiten des Verrats

  1. Hier ein englischsprachiges Exposé:

    Treason and Subjectivity
    Although the political imagination of the 20th century has been obsessively preoccupied with questions of political loyalty and betrayal, treason rarely became the subject of scientific debate.
    And, if there is a scientific interest in treason, it usually focusses on the question of secrecy. But the reality of treason is not exhausted with the aspects of secret knowledge and the adversary’s decision calculus. Diplomacy, espionage and warfare all depend on operations of concealing and purloining knowledge; but very few of these operations can be described as treason. The scandal of treason is not about detracting knowledge, it is about reneging on one’s promise, about violating a trust or a commitment. If the breach of loyalty (and not the transfer of secret knowledge) is considered as the decisive criterion for betrayal, then, inevitably the dimension of subjectivity comes into play.
    How to deal with this „human factor“? This may become clearer taking a look at the familiar Cold War metaphor, according to which traitors are nothing but “pawns in the game” of the super powers. Obviously, traditional representations that are all too much interested in the „pawns“, that is in the psychology of the traitor, the individual motives of betrayal, etc., are losing sight of the whole of the game and the rules upon which it is played. A structuralist viewpoint, however, as suggested by Eva Horn in her book on “The Secret War”, will concentrate on the “logic” or “choreography of secrecy” that constitutes the „the technical and epistemological condition of treason“; it will not be interested in “what subjects know and desire“. In contrast to this distanced-strategic view, I would like to take a close-up view of the acts of treason, I really would like to know what happens to the pawns when they change side or color. This does not mean, however, returning to a personological conception of treason. Instead of continuing the “mythology of the Ego” that is still prevailing in the realm of secret machinations (as expressed, for example, in the topos of the „Spy Who Saved the World“), my project will be concerned with describing the processes of subjectivation that first bring about the subject-position of a ‚traitor‘. The investigation does not deal with individual „perpetrators“ to ask for the intentions, motives, and secret causes of their treason. It begins with the observation of the ‚doings‘ of treason, it follows the movements of transition, and it attempts to describe what forms of subjectivity emerge from it.
    The project tries to trace the subjectivity effects and affective qualities of treason by means of a ‚mimetological‘ analysis. Methodically, it adheres to a simple rule burrowed from actor-network theory: ‚Follow the imitations‘. The search area is defined by the term ‚interzone‘, an observational framework that shall render visible the different mimetic operations which determine the events of betrayal. Analysis shall not be restricted to the mimetic modes of pictorial resemblance or structural homology. In fact, I’m particularly interested in those aspects of treachery that take place along an axis of contact, of touch or contiguity. With these forms of metamorphic activity which are difficult to grasp because they are not crystallized in images, a ‚political real‘ comes into play, which is not covered by the widespread analyzes of the ‚political imaginary‘.
    This microanalysis of situations of treason can be looked upon as a contribution to a diagnosis of social bonding. In treason, one can speak of a ‚tearing of a bond‘ in several respects. Like no other human action, treason calls into question the bonds that bind subjects to other subjects, that bind them to themselves, or that bind them to a particular truth. Precisely because social bonds, ego-identity and truth are put to the test in such a crying way, the act of betrayal can testify about the constitution of these bonds.
    The disposition of the project is determined by this three-fold research question.
    So, the first part is concerned with the question of the social bond, with the dynamics of transition between different subject positions. Here I want to make a synchronous section through the ‚classical modernism‘ of treason (that means the high season of ideological confrontation between communism, fascism and bourgeois liberalism c. 1936-1963) in order to expose some essential moments of ‚becoming-traitor‘.
    The second part deals with the question of the relation of the subject to itself. Here, the investigation focusses on two historical settings: first on the French 1940s‘ discourse on collaboration and secondly on the discussion about traitors and snitches in the West German Left of the 1970s and 1980s.
    The third part will explore what the discourse of treason can tell about the ‚economy of truth‘ of a time. Here, the historical focus is on the discourses about the ‚disappearance of treason‘ (which can be dated from approx. 1968 to 1989) and about the ‚return of treason‘ (which can be observed from 1991 till today).

Die Kommentarfunktion ist geschlossen.