Europe as an idea, will and profanation


  • Szymon Wróbel Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Faculty of Artes Liberales of the University of Warsaw

Słowa kluczowe:

Europe, fundamental phantasm, the Ungovernable, seizure, primal scene, will, profanation, idea, play


Author reflects on Europe as an idea, will and profanation. He argues that Europe has never crossed the threshold of sheer imagination, i.e. it has never been realized and it is for this reason that it remains a fantasy haunting the modern politics. The phantasm that Europe is – the author claims – turned out to be too weak to allow for the translation of the symbolic into a material dimension of Europe. The author ponders upon the reasons of this weakness to conclude that Europe is not only devoid of imagination, but it is also devoid of will (power) in its preference of the forms of as-if existence (a type of le bovarisme) which exercise the ability to imitate and to consider one as a different self. Following Agamben, the author arrives at the conclusion that the only remaining way of thinking about Europe is in terms of profanation whereby the contents of what was previously ascribed to the realm of the sacred is now accessible to all within the community. Yet, without desecration the original phantasm that Europe is would remain unchallenged and it would resist any attempts of its reconfiguration. Profanation should therefore be conceived as the necessary solicitation in order to create and construe a sort of “anti-device” or “anti-Europe”. Such despoliation of Europe restores the otherwise lost child’s seriousness, the seriousness observed in children playing war games. Transformation of Europe’s institutions (devices or social dispositives) into play is about the only way to lift the burden it has become, in the time when the Europeans have already learned that their achievements no longer constitute a proprium, in other words, Europe no longer has the authority to claim ownership of its achievements/property.