People v. State

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Ernst Juenger on Capital Punishment

October 30, 2012 By: John Kindley Category: Uncategorized

From Eumeswil:

There are jurists and even theologians who advocate capital punishment as the last resort of justice. Others reject it as immoral. Both sides have good reasons. Both call upon statistics, which, as usual, can be exploited every which way. Numbers should be kept aloof.

This controversy passes the anarch by. For him, the linking of death and punishment is absurd. In this respect, he is closer to the wrongdoer than to the judge, for the high-ranking culprit who is condemned to death is not prepared to acknowledge his sentence as atonement; rather, he sees his guilt in his own inadequacy. Thus, he recognizes himself not as a moral but as a tragic person.

. . .

With the spread of atheism, death grows more horrible, since annihilation is total and irrevocable. Death is overrated, both by the person suffering it and by the person inflicting it. Repentance, too, is secularized. It no longer relates to the evildoer’s salvation before he passes away into the cosmic order; now it signifies his obeisance to society and its legislation.

. . .

The anarch knows the fundamental law. He also knows its falsifications. He realizes that atonement is his due for misdeeds against it. The state has tricked him out of the right to pass this judgment; it is obligated to carry it out on his behalf.

Instead, one sees eunuchs convening in order to disempower the populace in whose name they presume to speak. This is logical, since the eunuch’s most heartfelt goal is to castrate the free man. The results are laws demanding that “you should run to the district attorney while your mother is being raped.”

They cheat a man out of the blood that expiates murder, just as they rob him of the gold attesting to his share of the sun, and spoil the salt that, as the spirit of the earth, unites all free men.

 

1 Comments to “Ernst Juenger on Capital Punishment”


  1. “The anarch knows the fundamental law” – this passage struck my eye in my own reading recently. What is that law? I would suggest something similar to karma is intended – simple pragmatic action and reaction. Ultimately, independently of the state and its laws, we suffer (or enjoy) the consequences of our actions. Whether we suffer or enjoy depends only how these consequences fulfill or not our personal goals – society’s, religion’s, the state’s ideas of what is right and desirable or evil and undesirable are altogether irrelevant. The ethos of the anarch vs the morality of state and society.

    Though Juenger does not say it explicitly in these passages, I believe this also highlights a difference between the anarch and anarchist. The anarchist does not know of this fundamental law, of its validity in whatever and despite whatever state it happens to coincide with in each case. The absence or destruction of the state would also make no difference, except perhaps that the action of this law would become more transparent, less disguised by the state law and punishment.

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