Eichmann Horizon

The term “Eichmann horizon” designates two long-term perspectives which must be taken into account in every generative decision:

  1. a) Firstly, the perspective of a thesis not, indeed, explicitly advanced by Hannah Arendt[1], though associated with and suggested by her work and documented both by social-psychological experiments (such as Milgram’s) and recent real historical genocides, to the effect that each of us, under the right historical circumstances, is capable of becoming an Eichmann;

  2. b) Secondly, that of the fact that we provide, through procreation, for the great episodes of inhumanity that the future surely holds[2] – even if their concrete form cannot yet be even vaguely discerned on the historical horizon – both the future victims and the future perpetrators which, if (a) holds true, almost every human being is capable of becoming.

Against the background of this “Eichmann horizon” appeal can no longer be made to the notion of the collective innocence of those involved or complicit in natality. In the form of the “Eichmann horizon” we lay claim to an extension of responsibility in terms of which not only the commanders, planners and active agents in such great episodes of inhumanity would be guilty but, above and beyond this, also all those antinatalistically àenlightened persons who, in spite of their possessing the historical education to know better and the freedom to decide otherwise, continue to beget future victims and perpetrators: i.e. enlightened parents.

[1] Arendt 1964 in conversation with Joachim Fest: “What I meant to say was absolutely not: ‘Eichman is in all of us’, ‘each of us has an internal Eichmann’, or anything of this sort”. Siehe:http://www.hannaharendt.net/index.php/han/article/view/114/194, accessed on 13.1.2013.

[2] “No effective steps have been taken to prevent a repetition – potentially and in basic principle entirely possible – of an Auschwitz-like catastrophe.” (Zygmunt Bauman, Dialektik der Ordnung. Die Moderne und der Holocaust)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.