The Mass Psychology of Fascism in the 21st Century – part 10 – the Israeli sniper has no moral compass

“In the Gaza Strip there are 8,000 permanently disabled young men as a result of the snipers’ actions. Some are leg amputees, and the shooters are very proud of that. None of the snipers interviewed for Hilo Glazer’s frightening story in Haaretz (March 6) has any regrets. If they are feeling at all apologetic it’s because they didn’t spill more blood.”

by Gideon Levy on Gaza’s snipers

A nation of psychopaths ‘collecting scalps’ – any scalp will do – is this what Hebrew-Zionist Israel is producing? Is this one of the seeds of political Zionism’s self destruction? Action for action’s sake is a short way of describing a sniper’s almost voyeuristic ‘perversion’ or neurosis, and one of Eco’s features of cultures around which fascism congeals.

There aren’t many clues in these soldiers’ testimonies as to the felt-purpose of the crippling bodily harms they inflict on Gaza’s youth. Under orders, ‘action for action’s sake’, young people with no moral compass. No sense of why they do what they do – its part of a fascist sport, ‘hunting’ as Levy puts it, a blood sport, and a bloodthirsty desire for the surplus blood of the enemy. Separated from the blood they spill, the suffering they cause, by the distance and the telescopic sight of their guns.

“Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for action’s sake. Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation. Therefore culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes. Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Goering’s alleged statement (“When I hear talk of culture I reach for my gun”) to the frequent use of such expressions as “degenerate intellectuals,” “eggheads,” “effete snobs,” “universities are a nest of reds.” The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.”

Ur-Fascism by Umberto Eco 1995

Dehumanized soldiers, who have lost their souls but on the outside appear well, even impressive and well-admired young men within their xenophobic Zionist cultural circles. No doubt capable of warmth and affection for their own kind, but how emotionally true, sustainable or stable is that warmth and that Zionist circle. Are they turned into callous psychopaths – without empathy, even perverse in a Lacanian sense?

Losing a moral compass might mean they have no sense of right or wrong about anything but only need to feed their narcissistic desires to ‘win’, surplus blood today, surplus recognition (or notoriety), surplus wealth, surplus control / of anybody, anything, tomorrow – the incitement to perverse action for action’s sake. As long as these malevolent subjectvities desire recognition by others or by their imagined Big Other, then this psychic structure may fall short of a true Lacanian perversion. But, as long as Zionism’s Big Other demands more, surplus ‘ethnic cleansing’, surplus security, surplus land-for-Jews, Zionism – like capitalism – just by demanding ‘more’ already reveals its own failures: to achieve satisfaction, to achieve its goal. So, Zionism like capitalism by always desiring more, surplus land, surplus destruction of the Arab always already reveals the inadequacy of Zionism to its subjects.

This is the ‘failure of the paternal metaphor’ that Lacanian describes, the failure that destabilizes the sense of self or identity, that can lead to a rejection of the Law of the Big Other, and lead to an inward turning narcissistic search for identity based on the individuals own resources. This is however, always impossible, and not only impossible but further destabilizes subjectivity, as self awareness always requires an other, and so this leads to the anxiety driven frenzy of action for action’s sake of the true pervert.

Capitalism incites perversion, so we may wonder what effect capitalism, in addition to a Zionist racist fascism based on Hebrew-Israel’s eternal genocidal settler-colonialist project, has on the developing psyches of Hebrew-Zionist-Israel’s young.

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