[work] of violence - The New Order

[work] of violence - The New Order
8. 7. 2000
D 2000

kuratiert von:

[work] of violence - The New Order
Marcel Schwierin

War destroys everything that human beings have built up; that is the perversity of work. Nevertheless to be a soldier is a profession like all others: there are training, universities, talents, career ladders, and finally, pensions. And there are unemployed people.

The more than senseless leisure activities of the young soldiers in Coup de Boule” - they hit their heads against the doors - remind of hospitalism and give rise to the sensation of extreme brutalisation. These are exercises of violence, the capability to disregard the needs of the own body; it is on the one hand a physical expression of the acceptance of the individual’s trained worthlessness, and on the other hand, also the attempt to symbolically destroy the compulsory organisation (and, in fact, the lockers get their bit).

“It is over, Johnny, it is over!”
“Nothing is over! Nothing! You can’t simply stop. (…) We have gone through hell. (…)
Over there I flew a helicopter, or I drove a tank, I was responsible for a one million dollar piece of equipment and here I don’t even get a job as a park keeper.” Sylvester Stallone as Vietnam veteran in “First Blood” 1

The situation illustrated by The Crime That Changed Serbia” is typical for societies after lost wars. The soldiers, often recruited at a very young age, have passed through a dreadful training and all that is left to them as a central value are surviving, killing, robbing, raping and male companionship. They cannot cope with the comparably complicated structures of civil life. As loser and thus guilty they are not welcomed (other than by Mafiosi gangs). The shapings of this social destabilisation are different, after World War I veteran’s associations in Italy and the Freikorps in the Weimar Republic laid the foundation stone for Fascism and National Socialism, while in the individualistic system of the USA the Vietnam veterans disappeared into the bushes and continued to live out their bizarre world view. All protagonists have in common that they continue to simply exercise their learned profession.

However, these conditions can be seen in a wider context: for years social scientists have warned about the consequences of structural unemployment which permanently excludes entire population groups from earnings. There, those who are stigmatised as useless lazybones, in our performance-oriented society - which is often accompanied by ethnic discrimination - form their own value systems, oriented at the ideals of the heroic eras: strength, struggle, family.

“If the social consequential problems of the changes in East Germany, and beyond that in Eastern Europe are not solved, then we can see already now the consequences which certainly will lead to completely new costs, e. g. those of inner state armament towards the outside: against radicals, against poverty refugees, against victims of civil wars, against nationalistically overlayed conflicts in the East, etc. We are talking about social interests. What shall the wealth of this society be used for: for social peace or for police and military actions.” (Huster) 2

1 Kotcheff, Ted: First Blood (aka Rambo). USA 1982

2 Huster, Ernst Ulrich: Unternehmen und Selbständige sind die Sieger im Verteilungskampf. Frankfurter Rundschau 1.9.1993

Text von

Marcel Schwierin