As an aid to those seeking a deeper understanding of, or indeed aspiring to live as an anarch, I provide this comprehensive list of all quotations from Eumeswil that elaborate this theme. The quotes are without comment, so that each reader may, in fact must, come to their own personal understanding. Precisely this ability to separate and elaborate one's own personal, yet objective understanding of reality and truth is a fundamental prerequisite of an anarch.
Only explicit citations of the anarch, anarchist or anarchy are listed here, in order of appearance. They include only as much accompanying context as I deem necessary for understanding. The method naturally relies on my judgement, but it is necessary in order to keep the document manageable. Serious anarchs will anyway have their own copy of Eumeswil, in which case this document is an index of anarch-related material.
- Men and might in history and politics
- Inner neutrality and external involvements
- Anarch's fundamental being and his normality
- Anarchists - and by contrast - the anarch
- Basis of human equality and the resulting personal freedom
- Degrees of freedom of action in an anarch
- Father's right to go against his son
- Relationship to authority - part 1
- Attachments to political leaders, ideologies and history
- Crime, violence and freedom
- Relationship to authority - part 2
- External commitments, politics, history and freedom
- Duty to defend one's leader during an attack
- Hopes of a universal style in music
- Parallel roles in life
- Facts and ideas
- Loyalty to flags, putsches and spiritual freedom
- Historical and political change and fear
- Political trends, liberalism, tyranny
- Involvement in external conflicts
- Incidental activities and rewards
- Fighting one's own battles
- Partisans and parties, facts and ideas, freedom and commitment
- Pain and martyrdom
- Intellectual study and history
- Partisans and 'do-gooders'
- Forest flight or 'Waldgang'
- The rules of society
- Equality and freedom
- Respect for rules
- Loyalty to leaders
- Liberalism, freedom, anarchy
- Anarchism and decay
- Value judgments
Part 1 – The teachers
(Men and might in history and politics)
"In the analysis of history, two main perspectives crystallize, one of which is directed at men, the other at might. This also corresponds to a rhythm in politics. Monarchies, oligarchies, dictatorships, tyranny as opposed to democracies, republies, the okhlos, anarchy. The captain as opposed to the crew; the great leader as opposed to the collective. For insiders, needless to say, these antitheses are necessary yet also illusory; they are motives serving to wind up the dock of history. Only seldom does a Great Noon shine, making the antitheses dissolve in happiness." Pages 28-29(Inner neutrality and external involvements)
"Inner neutrality. A man is involved wherever and for as long as he likes. When the bus is no longer comfortable, he gets out. Jomini, if I am not mistaken, was Swiss, a condottiere as in the Renaissance, a high-level mercenary. I intend to pinpoint the details at the luminar or ask Ingrid to do so.
A general is a specialist insofar as he has mastered his craft. Beyond that and outside the arbitrary pro and con, he keeps a third possibility intact and in reserve: his own substance. He knows more man what he embodies and teaches, has other skills along with the ones for which he is paid. He keeps all that to himself; it is his property. It is set aside for his leisure, his soliloquies, his nights. At a propitious moment, he will put it into action, tear off his mask. So far, he has been racing well; within sight of the finish line, his final reserves start pouring in. Fate challenges him; he responds. The dream, even in an erotic encounter, comes true. But casually, even here; every goal is a transition for him. The bow should snap rather than aiming the arrow at a finite target.
(An anarch's fundamental being and his normality)"General" stands here for the individual who goes into action, whether freely or forcedly. Since anarchy offers hirn an especially favorable charge, this type is permanent today. Thus, "general" has a universal rather than a special meaning. It can be replaced ad libitum. It refers not to a profession but to a condition. The latter may also crop up in a coolie, in which case it is particularly effective." Pages 36-37
“They found no mischief in me. I remained normal, however deeply they probed. And also straight as an arrow. To be sure, normality seldom coincides with straightness. Normalcy is the human constitution; straightness is logical reasoning. With its help, I could answer satisfactorily. In contrast, the human element is at once so general and so intricately encoded that they fail to perceive it, like the air that they breathe. Thus they were unable to penetrate my fundamental structure, which is anarchic.
That sounds complicated, but it is simple, for everyone is anarchic; this is precisely what is normal about us. Of course, the anarch is hemmed in from the first day by father and mother, by state and society. Those are prunings, tappings of the primordial strength, and nobody escapes them. One has to resign oneself. But the anarchic remains, at the very bottom, as a mystery, usually unknown even to its bearer. It can erupt from him as lava, can destroy him, liberate him. Distinctions must be made here: love is anarchic, marriage is not. The warrior is anarchic, the soldier is not. Manslaughter is anarchic, murder is not. Christ is anarchic, Saint Paul is not. Since, of course, the anarchic is normal, it is also present in Saint Paul, and sometimes it erupts mightily from him. Those are not antitheses but degrees. The history of the world is moved by anarchy. In sum: the free human being is anarchic, the anarchist is not." Page 41.
"If I were an anarchist and nothing further, they would have easily exposed me. They are particularly geared towards detecting anyone who tries to approach the powerful with mischievous intent, ‘with a dagger in his cloak.’ The anarch can lead a lonesome existence; the anarchist is sociable and must get together with peers.
Like any other place, Eumeswil has its share of anarchists. They are divided into two sects: the good-natured and the ill-natured. The good-natured are not dangerous: they dream of Golden Ages; Rousseau is their patron saint. The others have pledged their allegiance to Brutus: they convene in basements and garrets, and also in a back room of the Calamaretto. They huddle together like philistines drinking their beer while nurturing an indecent secrecy that is revealed by a giggle. They are listed in the police registers; when cells have to start forming and chemists get to work, they are watched more sharply. "The boil will soon burst." Those words are by the majordomo maj or, nicknamed "Dorno" by the Condor; I retain the abbreviation. Before an assassination can take place, either arrests are made or the conspiracy is steered. Against an opposition that is gaining a foothold no weapon is more potent than blaming the group for an assassination attempt.
The anarchist's hazy idealism, his goodness without sympathy or else his sympathy without goodness, makes him serviceable in many ways and also useful for the police. He does sense a secret, but he can do no more than sense it: the tremendous strength of the individual. It intoxicates him; he spends himself like a moth burning up in a flame. The absurdity of the assassination attempt lies not in the doer and his self-assurance, but in the deed and its link with the fleeting situation. The doer has sold himself too cheaply. That is why he usually achieves the opposite of what he intends.
The anarchist is dependent - both on his undear desires and on the powers that be. He trails the powerful man as his shadow; the ruler is always on his guard against him. As Charles V stood on a tower with his retinue, a captain began to laugh; when interrogated, he admitted to thinking that if he embraced the emperor and plunged down with hirn, his name would be forever recorded in history.
The anarchist is the antagonist of the monarch, whom he dreams of wiping out. He gets the man and consolidates the succession. The -ism suffix has a restrictive meaning; it emphasizes the will at the expense of the substance. I owe this note to Thofern, the grammarian, a hairsplitter par excellence.
The positive counterpart of the anarchist is the anarch. The latter is not the adversary of the monarch, but his antipode, untouched by him though also dangerous. He is not the opponent of the monarch, but his pendant.
After all, the monarch wants to rule many, nay, all people; the anarch, only himself. This gives him an attitude both objective and skeptical towards the powers that be; he has their figures go past him – and he is untouched, no doubt, yet inwardly not unmoved, not without historical passion. Every born historian is more or less an anarch; if he has greatness, then on this basis he rises without partisanship to the judge’s bench.
This concerns my profession, which I take seriously. I am also the night steward at the Casbah; now, I am not saying that I take this job less seriously. Here I am directly involved in the events, I deal with the living. My anarchic principle is not detrimental to my work. Rather it substantiates it as something I have in common with everyone else, except that I am more conscious of this. I serve the Condor, who is a tyrant – that is his function, just as mine is to be his steward; both of us can retreat to substance: to human nature in its nameless condition.” Page 41-43.
“When in the course of my work at the Luminar, I was reviewing public law, from Aristotle to Hegel and beyond, I thought of an Anglo Saxon's axiom about human equality. He seeks it not in the ever-changing distribution of power and means, but in a constant: the fact that anyone can kill anyone else.
This is a platitude, albeit reduced to a striking formula. The possibility of killing someone else is part of the potential of the anarch whom everyone carries around inside himself, even though he is seldom aware of that possibility. It always slumbers in the underground, even when two people exchange greetings in the street or avoid each other. When one stands atop a tower or in front of an oncoming train, that possibility is already drawing closer. Aside from the technological dangers, we also register the nearness of the Other. He can even be my brother. An old poet, Edgar Allen Poe, grasped this possibility in “Descent into the Maelstrom”. In any case, we watch our backs. Then comes the thronging in the catastrophe, the raft of the Méduse, the starving in the lifeboat….
I want to indicate this only insofar as it concerns my service. In any event, I brought this knowledge into the Condor’s range, into the inner sanctum that Monseigneur described as his “Parvulo.” I can kill him, dramatically or discreetly. His beverages – he especially likes a light red wine – ultimately pass through my hands.
Now granted, it is unlikely that I would kill him, albeit not impossible. Who can tell what astrological conjunctions one may get involved in? So, for now, my knowledge is merely theoretical, though important insofar as it puts me in his level. Not only can I kill him; I can also grant him amnesty. This is in my hands.
Naturally, I would not try to strike him just because he is tyrant – I am too well versed in history, especially the model that we have attained in Eumeswil. An immoderate tyrant settles his own hash. The execution can be left to the anarchists; that is all they think about. Hence, tyranny is seldom bequeathed; unlike the monarchies, it barely endures beyond the grandson. Parmenides inherited tyranny from his father “like a disease.”
According to Thales, the rarest thing he encountered in his travels was an old tyrant.That is my basic attitude in performing my job, and perhaps I do so better than any number of others. I am his equal; the difference lies in the clothing and the ceremonies, which only blockheads despise; you doff your clothes only when things start getting serious.
My awareness of my equality is actually good for my work; I am free enough to perform it lightly and agreeably – as if dancing. Often it gets late, and if things have gone well, I pat myself on the back before closing the bar, like a performer whose act has succeeded.The powerful appreciate this mood, especially at the Parvulo. The free and easy atmosphere in the space increases their enjoyment. Of course, this atmosphere must be dosed out. Needless to say, I do not imbibe, even if I am offered a drink, which happens if the Yellow Khan is our guest – at which time caution is in order.
I also let the conversation pass over me, although I follow it attentively and am often enthralled. My smile is detached; it is part of my job, but I do not join in the mirth triggered by a punch line. I weave a tapestry.” Page 44-45
"When I began my job, my genitor behaved like a true liberal: on the one hand, he was embarrassed by my working as a waiter; on the other hand, he felt politically strengthened in his security. For Cadmo - that is my brother's name - I am simply the ruler's menial. The old man is a speechifier, the boy a permanent anarchist, albeit only so long as things do not get hot. Degrees of freedom in which one can commit or omit everything are alien to both men." Page 51
“In any case, I am willing to acknowledge that my genitor, in going after me, was behaving naturally. As an anarch, I have to admit that he was protecting his rights. To be sure, this is based on reciprocity.
Our city teems with sons who have escaped their fathers in a similar way. Usually, this remains obscure. The Oedipal relation ship is reduced to a malaise between individuals. The loss of esteem is inevitable, but people get along with one another. Moreover, I am troubled less by my background than by the respect that my old man demands on the basis of his paternity. He cites a credit that is not his due: the fact that fathers, rulers, professors once lived and deserved this name. Nowadays, that is nothing but a rumor." Pages 57-58(Relationship to authority - Part 1)
“Although I am an anarch, I am not anti-authoritarian. Quite the opposite: I need authority, although I do not believe in it. My critical faculties are sharpened by the absence of the credibility that I ask for. As a historian, I know what can be offered.” Page 67(Attachments to political leaders, ideologies and history)
(History)“I sidestep, as I have said, any affection, any personal sympathy. As an anarch, I have to steer clear of such feelings. Working somewhere is unavoidable; in this respect, I behave like a condottiere, who makes his energy available at a given moment, but, in his heart of hearts, remains uncommitted. Furthermore, as here in the night bar, work is a part of my studies – the practical part.
As a historian, I am convinced of the imperfection – nay, the vanity – of any effort. I admit that the surfeit of a late era is involved here. The catalogue of possibilities seems exhausted. The great ideas have been eroded by repetition; you won’t catch any fish with that bait. In this regard, I behave no differently than anyone else in Eumeswil. People no longer demonstrate publicly for ideas; bread or wine would have to cost a lot more, or there would have to be a rumpus with the racers.
As a historian, I am skeptical; as an anarch, I am on my guard. This contributes to my well being, even to my sense of humor. Thus I keep my property together – albeit not for myself as the only one. My personal freedom is a perquisite. Beyond that, I stand ready for the Great Encounter – the irruption of the absolute into time. That is where history and science end.” Page 73
“Bruno withdrew from the field of history more resolutely than Vigo; that is why I prefer the former’s retrospect but the latter’s prospect. As an anarch, I am determined to go along with nothing, ultimately take nothing seriously – at least not nihilistically, but rather as a border guard in no man’s land, who sharpens his eyes and ears between the tides." Page 87-88(Crime, violence and freedom)
“Man is born violent but is kept in check by the people around him. If he nevertheless manages to throw off his fetters, he can count on applause, for everyone recognizes himself in him. Deeply ingrained, nay, buried dreams come true. The unlimited radiates its magic even upon crime, which, not coincidentally, is the main source of entertainment in Eumeswil. I, as an anarch, not uninterested but disinterested, can understand that. Freedom has a wide range and more facets than a diamond.” Page 93(Authority - 2)
“I tend to distinguish between other people’s opinions of me and my own self-assessment. Others determine my social status, which I take seriously, albeit within certain limits. Nor am I dissatisfied with it. In this respect, I differ from most Eumeswilers, who are dissatisfied with their positions or their standings.
I could just as easily say that I neither am satisfied with my position nor take it seriously. That would obtain for the overall situation of the city, the absence of any center, which puts every office under obligation and gives meaning to every action. Here, neither oath nor sacrifice counts any longer.
Nevertheless, when anything is possible, one can also take any liberty. I am an anarch – not because I despise authority, but because I need it. Likewise, I am not a nonbeliever, but a man who demands something worth believing in. On this point, I am like a bride in her chamber: she listens for the softest step.” Page 97(External commitments, politics, history and freedom)
“When I, as a historian, view us en familie, it strikes me that I dwell one story higher than my father and my brother: in rooms where one lives more unabashedly. I could come down at any time. That would be the historian's descent into politics - a change that might have good and even noble reasons, yet would in any case entail a loss of freedom.
Such is the role of the anarch, who remains free of all commitments yet can turn in any direction. A customer sits outside one of the famous cafes whose names have gone down in literary history. I picture him as, say, Manet, one of the old artists, might have painted him: with a short, dark beard, a round hat, a cigar in his hand, his features both relaxed and concentrated – that is, silently yet attentively at ease with himself and the world." Page 99(Duty to defend one's leader during an attack)
"I ponder my mission from three points of view: first as the Condor’s night steward, then as an historian, and finally as an anarch.” Page 105(Universal styles in music)
"To be sure: with the invention of recording, jukeboxes began to invade music. This led to the first universal musical style and therewith to the generalizing and vulgarizing of folk tunes - and also, incidentally, to an arsenal of extremely hideous instruments. I often listen to them; each style has its own content - the era of warring states managed to bring forth almost nothing but nostalgic reminiscences. And the physicians had to treat more patients who had gone deaf in the musical infernos than in the wars.(Parallel roles in life)
Now, I am not putting down the universal style as one of the anarch's hopes. A new Orpheus could do justice to the world along with its heavens and heIls." Pages 108 - 109
“People say I thrive on my work, and I do live up to this reputation. My day flows by agreeably; I have plenty of time for my studies. But when the waves surge high, as during the Yellow Khan’s visits or at the banquets, I volunteer for cabin service, and I also wait tables, which is not normally part of my job. My efforts are rewarded and known to everyone all the way up to the Domo. This provides me with leisure when Emanuelo turns into Martin at the luminar.
My about-face is not as simple as it may look at first glance. For one thing, I have to succeed in treating my work as a game that I both watch and play. This gives even dangerous places like the duck shack (his assigned defensive post – ed.) a charm of their own. It presumes that one can scrutinize oneself as from a certain distance like a chess figure – in a word, that one sees historical classification as more important than personal classification. This may sound exacting; but it used to be required of any soldier. The special trait making me an anarch is that I live in a world which I ‘ultimately’ do not take seriously. This increases my freedom; I serve as a temporary volunteer.” Page 111
“Playing the gentleman here would be possible only for actors; nor would anyone consider doing it anymore. Rather, people, such as my genitor and my brother, feel like martyrs. Half of Eumeswil is inhabited by types who have suffered for an idea or at least claim to have done so. They stood true to the flag, offered heroic resistance – in short, the worn-out military claptrap has reawakened. Upon taking a closer look, one sees that, with rare exceptions, they tried to save their hides just like anybody else. But one turns a blind eye to all that, as long as they do not over-do it.
The anarch sticks to facts, not ideas. He suffers not for facts but because of them, and usually through his own fault, as in a traffic accident. Certainly, there are unforeseeable things – maltreatments. However, I believe I have attained a certain degree of self-distancing that allows me to regard this as an accident.” Page 113
“For the anarch, little has changed; flags have meaning for him, but not sense. I have seen them in the air and on the ground like leaves in May and November; and I have done so as a contemporary and not just as a historian. The May Day celebration will survive, but with a different meaning. New portraits will head up the processions. A date devoted to the Great Mother is re-profaned. A pair of lovers in the wood pays more homage to it. I mean the forest as something undivided, where every tree is still a liberty tree.
For the anarch, little is changed when he strips off a uniform that he wore partly as fool’s motley, partly as camouflage. It covers his spiritual freedom, which he will objectivate during such transitions. This distinguishes him from the anarchist, who, objectively unfree, starts raging until he is thrust into a more rigorous straitjacket.” Page 114
(Political trends, liberalism, tyranny)“In my genitor’s home, too, there were meetings of people who, like him, hoped that the tribunes would hold out and who more or less had reasons for their hopes. They tried to raise each other’s spirits; they heard more or less sensible things. I could judge them from my perspective as an anarch, who, although personally indifferent to the whole business, found it fascinating as a historic issue. Moreover, I may have been the only person who was not afraid. I relished what I was listening to, like Stendahl on such an occasion. I appreciate him also as a historian.” Page 120
“The Condor feels like, and presents himself as, a tyrant; this entails fewer lies. For me, nothing basic has changed; my character, that of an anarch, remains intact. For the historian, the yield is actually richer in that it becomes more vivid. The political trend is always to be observed, partly as a spectacle, partly for one’s own safety. The liberal is dissatisfied with regimes; the anarch passes through their sequence – as inoffensively as possible – like a suite of rooms. This is the recipe for anyone who cares more about the substance of the world than its shadow – the philosopher, the artist, the believer.” Page 124
“On a sloping plane, one deals more thoroughly with questions of personal safety. Nor am I different from anyone else. I began taking practical precautions when I noticed that passersby were glaring at me. Ferreting out the bunker was the preparation; then came the setting up.
My goal was to find the best solution for vanishing as thoroughly as possible for an indefinite period, so I approached this problem in my own way, taking my time. When society involves the anarch in a conflict which in which he does not participate inwardly, it challenges him to launch an opposition. He will try to turn the lever with which society moves him. Society is then at his disposal, say, as a stage for grand spectacles that are devised for him. Everything changes; the fetter becomes fascinating, danger an adventure, a suspenseful task. ” Page 131
“I could confirm that this fowl was in fact a new breed. Rosner was enraptured; he absolutely insisted on naming it after me: Alectura venatoris. I had a hard time dissuading him. After all, despite everything, I had tricked the good man. However, one of the anarch’s emoluments is that he is distinguished for things that he has done on the side or that go against his grain.” Page 135
“Needless to say, I took weapons along to the bird stand. Not only did I have to catch birds for Rosner’s museum, but I also had to protect myself against predators and big game, especially the red buffalo, a highly dangerous creature that pops up unexpectedly. I therefore armed myself with hunting and military weapons. The anarch wages his own wars, even when marching in rank and file.” Page 135
“A mine is anonymous, a crude weapon. Partisans like using mines because of the peculiar nature of their struggle, which makes the landscape uncertain. The anarch is not tempted by them, if only because he is oriented to facts, not ideas. He fights alone, as a free man, and would never dream of sacrificing himself to having one inadequacy supplant another and a new regime triumph over the old one. In this sense, he is closer to the philistine; the baker whose chief concern is to bake good bread; the peasant, who works his plow while armies march across his fields.(Pain and martyrdom)
The anarch is a forest fleer, the partisans are a collective. I have observed their quarrels as both a historian and a contemporary. Stuffy air, unclear ideas, lethal energy, which ultimately puts abdicated monarchs and retired generals back in the saddle – and they then show their gratitude by liquidating those selfsame partisans. I had to love certain ones, because they loved freedom, even though the cause did not deserve their sacrifice; this made me sad.
If I love freedom above all else, then any commitment becomes a metaphor, a symbol. This touches on the difference between the forest fleer and the partisan: this distinction is not qualitative but essential in nature. The anarch is closer to Being. The partisan moves within the social or national party structure, the anarch is outside of it. Of course, the anarch cannot elude the party structure, since he lives in society.
The difference will be obvious when I go to my forest shack while my Lebanese joins the partisans. I will then not only hold on to my essential freedom, but also gain its full and visible enjoyment. The Lebanese, by contrast, will shift only within society; he will become dependent on a different group, which will get an even tighter hold on him.
Naturally, I could just as well or just as badly serve the partisans rather than the Condor – a notion I have toyed with. Either way, I remain the same, inwardly untouched. It makes no difference that it is more dangerous siding with the partisans than with the tyrant; I love danger. But as a historian, I want danger to stand out sharply....
- - - - - -I entered this in my notebook. In conclusion, I would like to repeat that I do not fancy myself as anything special for being an anarch. My emotions are no different from those of the average man. Perhaps I have pondered this relationship a bit more carefully and am conscious of a freedom to which “basically” everybody is entitled – a freedom that more or less dicates his actions." Pages 131-138
"Up in the bunker, I will also have time for fishing and hunting. There will even be notes for Rosner. During my first exploratory outing, I had noticed an acacia; it grew in the type of clearing that emerges when a tree collapses. The bush, like a gallows, was hung with skeletons. Although the skeletons were small, I recoiled at first glance.
This sometimes happens when we unexpectedly stumble on nature’s cruelty. Rosner views this as resentment. He compares nature to a festive kitchen where everyone both consumes and is consumed. Nothing perishes; the equation works out. “Everything fertilizes everything else,” as the farmers say. If I am to believe Rosner, we live partly on the beings that we produce in our innards in order to digest them. That is how one might picture the demiurge: up there as a world spirit, with Olympian serenity, delighting in the raging of animals and the warring of men; down here as a pot-bellied man, who benefits from every consuming and being consumed.
This of course releases me from pain as little as it does the grenadier whose leg is shot off for the greater glory of the king. As an anarch, I also have to steer clear of martyrdom. And for the historian, the issue of pain is fundamental." Page 142
"Aside from a calendar in which I cross out the days, I will take no reading material along. The prospect of a year in which the mind is utterly free of reading is pleasant. A temporary break from reading can be as beneficial as a fasting cure to physical health.
The absence of the luminar will also be benign. Not only is the transformer stored in the rock under the Casbah, but it could only be moved by truck. I will miss inquiry not as an anarch, but probably as an historian.” Page 143
“As I have said, as an anarch I have nothing to do with the partisans. I wish to defy society not in order to improve it, but to hold it at bay no matter what. I suspend my achievements – but also my demands.
As for the do-gooders, I am familiar with the horrors that were perpetrated in the name of humanity, Christianity, progress. I have studied them. I do not know whether I am correctly quoting a Gallic thinker: ‘Man is neither an animal nor an angel; but he becomes a devil when he tries to be an angel.’ ” Page 145
The forest flight confirms the independence of the anarch, who is basically a forest fleer anywhere, any time, whether in the thicket, in the metropolis, whether inside or outside society. One must distinguish not only between the forest fleer and the partisan but also between the anarch and the criminal; the difference lies in the relationship to the law. The partisan wants to change the law, the criminal break it; the anarch wants neither. He is not for or against the law. While not acknowledging the law, he does try to recognize it like the laws of nature, and he adjusts accordingly.
When it is hot, you doff your hat; in the rain, you open your umbrella; during an earthquake, you leave your house. Law and custom are becoming the subjects of a new field of learning. The anarch endeavors to judge them ethnographically, historically, and also – I will probably come back to this – morally. The State will be generally satisfied with him; it will scarcely notice him In this respect he bears a certain resemblance to the criminal – say, the master spy – whose gifts are concealed behind a run-of-the-mill occupation.
I assume that in great men whose names I dare not mention, the anarchic element was very powerful. You see, when fundamental changes are to occur in law, custom, and society, they presuppose a great distancing from established principles. And the anarch, should he take any action, is capable of working this lever....
The forest fleer and the partisan are not, as I have said, to be confused with each other; the partisan fights in society, the forest fleer alone. Nor, on the other hand, is the forest fleer to be confused with the anarch, although the two of them grow very similar for a while and are barely to be distinguished in existential terms.
The difference is that the forest fleer has been expelled from society, while the anarch has expelled society from himself. He is and remains his own master in all circumstances. When he decides to flee to the forest, his decision is less an issue of justice and conscience for him than a traffic accident. He changes camouflage; of course, his alien status is more obvious in the forest flight, thereby making it the weaker form, though perhaps indispensable.
Needless to say, I thoroughly studied these issues in the luminar and at the library. Here I stumbled on the possibility of an error in the wrong direction. Let me quote a sentence I found in the introduction to an ancient work on Germanic pre- and proto-history. A certain Professor Kiekebusch wrote: “To live as a serving link in the whole is both a duty and a reward. The supreme goal of every individual’s labor and striving is the good of the collective.”
This is in the style of the eschaton of the warring nations, when exploitation changed its face. A few generations earlier, during the wars of liberation, this would have been expressed in a more fiery manner. The spirit passes over the flesh like a wind that keeps moving new generations. Enthusiasm follows it and vanishes after it. In Eumeswil, such statements have long since become so historical as to be rarely quoted in seminars.
For the anarch, things are not so simple, especially when he has a background in history. If the anarch remains free of being ruled, whether by sovereigns or by society, this does not mean that he refuses to serve in any way. In general, he serves no worse than anyone else, and sometimes even better, if he likes the game. He only holds back from the pledge, the sacrifice, the ultimate devotion. These are issues of metaphysical integrity, which have little clout in Eumeswil. By the same token, one does not chitchat with men who actually think there is plenty of room for improvement here or who actually promise you a heaven on earth.
I serve in the Casbah; if, while doing so, I died for the Condor, it would be an accident, perhaps even an obliging gesture, but nothing more.” Pages 147-148(The rules of society)
“The anarch differs from the anarchist in that he has a very pronounced sense of the rules. Insofar as and to the extent that he observes them, he feels exempt from thinking.
This is consistent with normal behavior: everyone who boards a train rolls over bridges and through tunnels that engineers have devised for him and on which a hundred thousand hands have labored. This does not darken the passenger’s mood; settling in comfortably, he buries himself in his newspaper, has breakfast, or thinks about his business.
Likewise, the anarch – except that he always remains aware of that relationship, never losing sight of his main theme, freedom, that which also flies outside, past hill and dale. He can get away at any time, not just from the train, but also from any demand made on him by state, society, or church, and also from existence. He is free to donate existence to Being, not for any pressing reason but just as he likes, whether out of exuberance or out of boredom." Pages 154-155(Equality and freedom)
“Equality is based, as we have seen, on the possibility that anyone can kill anyone else. This awareness alone is enough to help us see through the swaggering of the superpowers – or, as here in Eumeswil, to help the historian study human behaviour.
So much for equality. Freedom is based in the expansion of that maxim: on the anarch’s awareness that he can kill himself. He carries this awareness around; it accompanies him like a shadow that he can conjure up. “A leap from this bridge will set me free.”
That is more or less how I regard the care I am taking in the acacia forest. The anarch, as I have expounded elsewhere, is the pendant to the monarch; he is as sovereign as the monarch, and also freer since he does not have to rule.
The hilltop bulwark is the chapel of my freedom, whether or not I enter it. It will serve as my stronghold when I change into a warring power and obtain my freedom against the demands of society – my exact courage against their exactions.” Page 155(Respect for rules)
(Loyalty to leaders)"I began with the respect that the anarch shows towards the rules. Respectare as an intensive of respicere means: ‘to look back, to think over, to take into account.’ These are traffic rules. The anarchist resembles a pedestrian who refuses to acknowledge them and is promptly run down. Even a passport check is disastrous for him. ‘I never saw a cheerful end,’ as far back as I can look into history. In contrast, I would assume that men who were blessed with happiness – Sulla, for example – were anarchs in disguise." Page 156
"The caesar is the person who can least conceal himself in this world. Strange how now, alone in the universe, he becomes similar to the anarch. Even though his mortal fear is breathing down his neck, he manages to get out a few significant asides. Even as the hoofbeat announces the arrival of pursuers, he quotes the appropriate Homeric verse: ‘Thundering into my ear…’ And then the brilliant ‘Qualis artifex pereo’ – ‘What a great artist perishes with me!’
He is too weak, too clumsy to stab himself; his secretary, Epaphroditus, guides his hand. Incidentally, that was why Domitian had this benefactor executed.
(Liberalism, freedom, anarchy)I would like to avoid getting mixed up in such quarrels by hearing, say, the Condor tell me, ‘That is loyalty,’ as Nero told the centurion whose behaviour was dubious." Page 156-157
"If my dear brother had any inkling of what I toss away en passant, he would be through with me for good. I would have laid hold on his most hallowed treasure. ‘Freedom of the press’ and ‘capital punishment’ – I usually give these phrases a wide berth at the family table, for were I to voice even the slightest criticism, the game could be up for me altogether.
(Liberalism, freedom, anarchy)He would never get it into his head that freedom begins where freedom of the press ends. ‘Freedom of thought’ – this means he would never test his ideas in a state of primeval freedom. I am willing to grant that he is rooted in liberal traditions, although they are more diluted and mitigated than in my genitor. Even good ideas have their time. Liberalism is to freedom as anarchism is to anarchy." Page 159
"Cadmo, to enlighten me, often takes me along to his ‘Storm Companions.’ I am not really welcome there – perhaps they even regard me as an agent of the Domo, who, by the by, knows about their meetings but considers them irrelevant, indeed almost useful. ‘A barking dog never bites.’
The main reason I have a hard time getting along with these men is their indecisiveness. They feel when they ought to think, and vice versa. All they have inherited from Socrates is skepticism; but unlike Xenophon, they would not hoist him on their shoulders and carry him out of the fighting. Convinced as they are of the temporal and finite nature of things, they shy away from pain, sacrifice, devotion.
(Value judgements)My dear brother, even after much soul-searching, has not become an anarchist like, say, Zerrwick, who edits The Wren. Zerrwick’s ideas flow glibly from his lips and his pen; he converts them into the ‘ferment of decay.’ I am using this image, a favorite of the conservatives, because I like it – for the anarch, however, decay is a process like any other; and for the historian, this Zerrwick is more informative than my genitor and my dear brother." Page 159-160
“Naturally, our Zerrwick cannot be placed on the same level as Harmodius. Nor is that an issue for me. Aside from the fact that as an anarch I strive to remain free of value judgements, Eumeswil suffices for my studies precisely because I am impartial.” Page 161